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Students bringing 'Beauty and Beast' to Francis Scott Key High School

Francis Scott Key High School student actors will be presenting "Beauty and the Beast." Pictured on the platform, holding hands, are Liam Abate, the Beast, and Audrey Bennett, Belle. In the second row, standing, are: Trudye Lutton, Silly Girl; Matt Schuyler, Gaston; Dean Bennett, Lefou; Devin Holsey, Lumiere; Bryan Burrows, Cogsworth; and Annie Douglas, Mrs. Potts. In the first row are: Carly Gabriel, Silly Girl; Vincent DeSanto, Maurice; Emma Padrick, Babette; and Emily Akey, Madame De La Grande Bouche.
Francis Scott Key High School student actors will be presenting "Beauty and the Beast." Pictured on the platform, holding hands, are Liam Abate, the Beast, and Audrey Bennett, Belle. In the second row, standing, are: Trudye Lutton, Silly Girl; Matt Schuyler, Gaston; Dean Bennett, Lefou; Devin Holsey, Lumiere; Bryan Burrows, Cogsworth; and Annie Douglas, Mrs. Potts. In the first row are: Carly Gabriel, Silly Girl; Vincent DeSanto, Maurice; Emma Padrick, Babette; and Emily Akey, Madame De La Grande Bouche. (Submitted photo, Carroll County Times)

"Be Our Guest," implore Francis Scott Key High School student actors, who are performing "Beauty and the Beast" in five shows.

"I think it's definitely going to be a crowd pleaser," said Bryan Burrows, a senior who will portray Cogsworth, the clock, in the show. "It's definitely one for little kids to come see as well as adults who grew up with kids watching the show, or grew up as kids watching the show."

The musical is based on the Disney movie of the same name, and is the story of a prince who offends an enchantress, who curses him and his household. The prince becomes a beast and his servants are turned into household implements. The curse can only be broken when the prince finds true love, and he tries to woo a villager named Belle, who is forced to live in his castle with him after her father trespassed on the prince's property.

Matt Lamb, director of choral activities for the school and director of the play, said that when it came to choosing this year's musical, the committee wanted something with wide appeal that would allow many students to participate.

"'Beauty and the Beast' kind of fit all those things," he said, "so it was an easy choice."

The cast includes about 65 students - one of the largest groups in years, Lamb said. The students have been practicing since December, working on their lines, the songs, the dance moves and bringing it all together.

"I feel like this is the best shape that we've been in at this point ever in my experience," senior Emily Timmerman, the stage manager, said in early March.

Timmerman said that with such a large cast, there are a lot of first-timers in the play. She believes the choice of musical also brought out some performers who may not necessarily be interested in drama in general.

Devin Holsey, a senior who will portray the candelabra Lumiere, said he thinks the familiarity of the movie and its songs, such as "Be Our Guest" and "Beauty and the Beast," helps the audience to get wrapped up in what they are watching.

"It's a lot easier for viewers to sort of get engrossed in the story, because not only do you have the story and the motions and the characters to fall in love with, but you also have that extra element of the music and the dance and the choreographed loveliness that comes with a musical, especially one that is fanciful as this one," he said.

The musical will include all of the songs made famous in the movie, Lamb said, but will also include an additional eight to 10 songs written by the same composers but not included in the film.

Holsey said the new songs bring an element of surprise to the production.

"I really think it's the ones that weren't in the movie that will sort of be the crowd favorites," he said.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. March 21, 22, 28 and 29, with a matinee performance at 1 p.m. March 22. Doors will open 45 minutes before each show.

Tickets are $6 for students and senior citizens, $8 for adults, and $3 for children younger than 5. A family price for the matinee only will be offered at $25 for a family of four on March 22, with additional child or student tickets for $3.

Tickets will be for sale at the door, but to reserve your tickets in advance, contact Heidi Eiwen at hmeiwen@carrollk12.org or 410-751-3020.

Basket bingo

St. James Lutheran Church is holding a basket bingo at the Union Bridge Community Center at 7 p.m. March 22.

Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door, for 20 games. Only 130 tickets will be sold. Specials and raffles will be available for purchase. Anyone who brings a canned good or personal hygiene product for the St. James Food Pantry will be entered into a special raffle.

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and light refreshments will be available for purchase.

The community center is at 4770 Ladiesburg Road, Union Bridge.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 410-635-6872 or 410-861-5567.

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