By Kady Cramer
The Leawood Stage Company will feature a tale as old as time in their summer musical, Beauty and the Beast, at Rockhurst High School’s Rose Theater, 9301 State Line. The production will run July 14- 22.
“We were looking for a venue that takes people out of the heat for the summer,” says Leawood Stage Co. board member Colin Rohach.
Rohach is also on the playbill to perform Lefou – the secondary antagonist and villain Gaston’s snide, accident-prone sidekick.
A graduate of Rockhurst High School, Rohach said it was just an idea that came to him one day – that maybe the high school would rent their theater out in the summer.
“It’s very big, there’s over 800 seats in the theater, and it’s a nice change of pace from being outside.”
In the past, the company’s summer musicals have taken place at Ironwood Park in Leawood. Beauty and the Beast will be the company’s first production in collaboration with Rockhurst High School.
Nominated for nine Tony Awards and produced in 37 countries worldwide, the classic story tells of Belle (played by Sydney Nicks), a young woman in a small town, and the Beast (played by Charlie Meacham), a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress.
“We were looking for a show that would appeal to any age… male or female,” says Rohach. “Even though it’s a princess story, there are still elements that appeal to both.”
If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.
“There are lots of families that are cast together,” says Rohach. “At least four families that include parents, children, aunt, nephew…. That was what we were targeting when we chose Beauty and the Beast. We knew it would be a great way to involve the whole family, of all ages – not just for the audience but for the actors that wanted to be in it too.”
Based on the Oscar award-winning animated Disney feature, this stage version will include all the original songs as well as new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. Sponsored by the City of Leawood, the production will be directed by Miranda Bland and feature music direction by Grace Mott, choreography by Cristina VanSickle, and stage management by Katia Milazzo.
“This is a great way to escape the summer heat. It’s free for the entire family. You can bring as many people as you want. No reservations need to be made. It’s going to be an all-around good time for everybody.”
Show times are July 14-15 and 19-22 at 7:30pm, July 16 and 23 at 2pm. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.leawoodstageco.org.