Calling all princesses! This show is for you

David Shockey (Beast) and Emi Ford (Belle) rehearse a tender moment in Children s Performing Arts of Miamisburg’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, slated for May 5-13 at Memorial Auditorium. CONTRIBUTED
Caption
David Shockey (Beast) and Emi Ford (Belle) rehearse a tender moment in Children s Performing Arts of Miamisburg’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, slated for May 5-13 at Memorial Auditorium. CONTRIBUTED

Children’s Performing Arts of Miamisburg prepares to bring its own charm to a tale as old as time.

This children’s theater group’s staging of 1994 Tony Award-winning musical Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” begins Friday, May 5 at Memorial Auditorium.

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WHAT TO EXPECT

Based on the beloved 1991 Academy Award-winning animated film of the same name, “Beauty and the Beast” injects humor, poignancy and tenderness into its story of love, forgiveness and tolerance. A handsome prince cursed by a witch’s spell is forever changed by Belle, a young woman from a provincial town he holds captive. As the Beast and Belle grow closer, hope fills the enchanted castle, but happily ever after doesn’t come easy for the duo or the Beast’s colorful servants-turned-objects thanks to the villainous Gaston, a conceited huntsman infatuated with Belle. The delightful score includes “Belle,” “Home,” “Gaston,” “Be Our Guest,” “If I Can’t Love Her,” “Something There” and the gorgeous title tune.

"The transition of good and evil is very important in this show," said CPAM artistic director Donna Roth co-staging with longtime CPAM member Lindsey Smith. "Also, there is the discovery of learning about differences, particularly realizing someone is not odd but normal. At one point, Belle tells the Beast her town thinks she's odd and he's shocked. This show reminds us it's not a bad thing to be who you are."

"I believe most people find 'Beauty and the Beast' appealing because the story revolves around breaking social norms," echoed David Shockey who portrays the Beast and whose previous CPAM credits include Captain Von Trapp in "The Sound of Music" and Lord Farquaad in "Shrek." "It's all about staying true to who you are even when society tells you to be someone else."

As he continues to mold his portrayal, Shockey, most recently seen in the Muse Machine’s production of “Hairspray,” says he’s determined to make the Beast complex. He has no intentions of merely interpreting one-dimensional anger.

"The Beast is multifaceted," he said. "There are many layers to his personality. All of his actions are driven by his conflicting emotions. As the story progresses, I want the audience to see that there is so much more to the Beast than his cold and harsh behavior."

THE CAST AND CREW

The principal cast includes Cleo Bowling and Emi Ford as Belle, Nick Bradley as Gaston, Kiersten Bradley as Lefou, Bradley Scearce and Spencer Truran as Cogsworth, Rami DiFlora and Mackenzie Fox as Mrs. Potts, Cassidy Jackson and Jenna Fazzari as Lumiere, Lily Myers and Jordan Head as Chip, Madi Day and Lauryn Templeton as Babette, Caitlin Zook and Gabby Smith as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Cameron Willis and Owen Caplinger as Maurice, Megan Daniels as Monsieur D’Arque, and Emma Decan as the Old Beggar Woman/Enchantress.

Roth and Smith’s artistic team includes choreographer Sheri “Sparkle” Williams of Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, vocal director Stephanie Behr, set designer Melissa Smith, set builder/painter Chris Newman, sound and lighting designer Tim Guth, costumer Tonia Scearce, and orchestra conductor Chris Haines.

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"This is one of the largest and biggest shows we've done," Roth added. "We've particularly never done a two-story set before. We like to see our actors grow so we feel as a group that we need to grow too. We need to stretch our bounds as a growing organization. CPAM is a loving family environment for kids to be a part of. It's a wonderful place to learn and grow in their goals just as Belle and the Beast learn to love."

WANT TO GO?

What: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"

Where: Memorial Auditorium, Park Avenue and Sixth Street, Miamisburg

When: May 5-13; 7 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sunday

Tickets: $9 for students, seniors and military; $11 for adults. Tickets can be purchased at the door.

More info: Call (937) 867-0353, e-mail info@cpamburg.com or visit online at cpamburg.com