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'A tale as old as time' staged by the ACT Players

07/11/2018 10:47AM ● Published by J. Chambless

Belle and the Beast with a young fan at a recent promotional apperance at the Sawmill Grill in Oxford.

By John Chambless
Staff Writer

The timeless story of love conquering all, “Beauty and the Beast,” will be staged by the ACT Players from July 19 to 29.

Disney's musical version of the 18th-century French fairy tale tells the story of Belle, a beautiful and intelligent young woman who feels out of place in her provincial village in France. When her father is held captive in a mysterious castle, Belle’s attempt to rescue him leads to her imprisonment by the Beast, a prince who was trapped in a monstrous form by the spell of a powerful enchantress. Able to return to his human form only if he learns to love and be loved in return before the last petal of the magical rose falls, the Beast’s enchanted household servants – populated by such beloved characters as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip – watch anxiously as Belle and the Beast grow to understand and befriend one another.

The show's memorable songs and magical costumes have made the story a favorite of audiences young and old. The show, directed by Mala Marcano and Karen Weaver, will be staged at Ware Center for Performing Arts on the campus of Lincoln University (1570 Baltimore Pike). Tickets are general admission, with the exception of wheelchair accessible seats. Performances are scheduled July 19, 20, and 21 at 7 p.m., and July 22 at 2 p.m.; as well as the following weekend, July 26, 27 and 28 at 7 p.m., and July 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $17 to $20. Visit www.actheater.org for more information and reservations.

The community theater group is auditioning for its first fall musical production, “Sweeney Todd.” Auditions will be held at Kemblesville United Methodist Church on Aug. 8 and 9 from 6 to 9 p.m.

The classic musical is about an unjustly exiled barber who returns to 19th-century London seeking vengeance against the judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The road to revenge leads Todd to Mrs. Lovett, a resourceful proprietress of a failing pie shop, above which he opens a new barber practice. Mrs. Lovett’s luck sharply shifts when Todd’s thirst for blood inspires the integration of an ingredient into her meat pies that has the people of London lining up for a treat.

Auditions are open to the community. Prepare to sing 18 measures from the “Sweeney Todd” score. Those auditioning for the title role or that of Mrs. Lovett must choose a song associated with that character. You must provide your own accompaniment, and backing tracks must not have any primary or supporting vocals. The theater will provide a piano and a Bluetooth speaker. There will also be a cold script reading with a member of the production staff.

Rehearsals for “Sweeney Todd” will be Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons beginning Aug. 21, and will take place at Kemblesville United Methodist Church until the cast moves to the Ware Center for Performing Arts in mid-October. Performances will be Oct. 25, 26, 27 at 7 p.m., and Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.

To contact Staff Writer John Chambless, email jchambless@chestercounty.com.

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