It might be a tale as old as time, but for Windsor Light Music Theatre’s youngest members, it will be a magical moment when they hit the stage for three performances of the junior version of the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast. The musical runs April 4th and 5th at École secondaire l’Essor.
“This is my first role with Windsor Light Music Theatre and I was welcomed with open arms,” Malia Alfonso told 519 about her being cast as Belle in the show. “Playing Belle means so much to me because ever since I remember I’ve only ever seen Belle portrayed by Caucasian women and I’m so excited to have this opportunity to bring my own interpretation to this role.”
The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his magical household will be doomed for all eternity.
“Not only is Beauty and the Beast one of the more technically demanding Disney classics come to life, it also holds a very special place in the heart of Windsor Light, having been produced and performed on three separate occasions; so, it goes without saying that the pressure was on for us at the Youth Program to put on a good show,” added director Adam Iannetta. “That being said, I am beyond impressed with the level of maturity and professionalism our cast of young artists has been able to achieve, as I am sure you soon will see.”
This classic musical love story is a magical tale that comes to life with unforgettable characters, astonishing sets and costumes, and a stunning score including such memorable songs as “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston” and the Tony-winning title song, “Beauty and the Beast.”
Windsor Light Music Theatre has a rich history of talented youth performers and offers a variety of different programs. Each of the three main programs is run by members of the theatre community and offers a unique blend of vocal, dance and theatrical training in a fun, encouraging environment.
In the past couple years alone, Windsor Light Music Theatre has staged various different junior versions of shows, including The Lion King and Peter Pan, amongst others.
The Junior version of Beauty and The Beast is shorter than the full show, running around 60 minutes, is more music-centered than the movie, and down-plays some of the romantic aspects of the film.
“It goes without saying that Windsor Light has always strived to produce professional-level shows, but more than that, they take pride in the relationships and spirit of community they have built while delighting our city with heart-warming stories and memorable music for more than 70 years,” Iannetta said. “Not only are these kids putting on a top-notch show, they’re building confidence and friendships that will hopefully continue to grow beyond the final curtain.”
Like all of her fellow cast members, Alfonso is excited to stage the production:
“Belle is so relatable because even though she’s “odd” and doesn’t fit in, she sticks to her beliefs and isn’t intimidated by Gaston or the Beast,” she said. “I’ve always been drawn to Belle for her bravery and dedication to her family and the fact that her journey isn’t about her finding a Prince. People should come see this production because we’re bringing 100% energy and have been working so hard to put together a great show.”
Windsor Light Music Theatre presents Beauty and the Beast at École secondaire l’Essor on Saturday, April 4 at 2 and 7pm and on Sunday, April 5 at 2pm. Tickets start at $10 and are available at the door or from any cast member.