Grove City Record

GCHS Drama Club students relish shot at Disney classic

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RYAN M.L. YOUNG/THISWEEKNEWS
From left, sophomore Ryan Cunningham, junior Alannah Reisling and senior Chase Eagleson -- as Lefou, Belle and Gaston -- rehearse a scene from the Grove City High School spring musical, Beauty and the Beast . The play will be presented Friday through Sunday, April 11-13.
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The Grove City High School Drama Club is inviting the community to "Be (its) Guest" as it presents one of Broadway's most successful productions as its spring musical.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast will be presented Friday through Sunday, April 11-13 at the high school, 4665 Hoover Road.

The musical will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday with 2 p.m. matinee shows Saturday and Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $8 for students and $5 for seniors and children under 5.

Advance sale tickets are available by emailing stefanie.mcconnell@swcs.us with the ticket information.

"We always try to present something our kids will enjoy and that will challenge them," said choral music director Jennifer Wozniak, who is directing the play with Stefanie McConnell, an English and drama teacher, and GCHS band director George Edge.

"The students all grew up watching Disney movies, and most of them are familiar with Beauty and the Beast," Wozniak said. "It's just a wonderful musical the whole family can enjoy."

The musical is based on the classic Disney animated film, which in turn was based on a French fairy tale.

"I think people will like coming to see a show they are familiar with," Wozniak said.

At the same time, that familiarity presents a challenge for the GCHS production, to live up to the expectations the audience will have, she said.

Rebecca Lehman, who portrays Mrs. Potts, said she is both excited and a bit intimated to step into a role played in the animated film by Angela Lansbury. It is Mrs. Potts who sings the Oscar-winning title song.

"It's a thrill to get to sing a song that so many people know and love," she said. "But at the same time, Angela Lansbury is such an iconic performer. It's a challenge to try to live up to her standard."

Matt Barr, who portrays The Beast, will be singing for the first time for an audience.

"It's making me a little nervous, but it's such a great show," he said. "Usually I've played more comic roles, so it's a different type of character for me to play."

Also, a familiar one.

Barr said the Beauty and the Beast movie was one of his favorites growing up.

"I've probably seen it more than 50 times," he said.

"I've always loved the story and the music" so when the musical was announced as this year's spring production, Barr said, he was all for it.

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