Beauty and the Beast, Jr.
by Niobrara County High School, Lusk, Wyoming

Everyone has to start somewhere, and that is just what the delightful students of Niobrara County High School did with their production of “Beauty & The Beast Jr.”.  This was the school’s first-ever musical, and in this small town of about 1,400, just about the entire town came out to the show.  

As pretty much everyone on Planet Earth knows, “Beauty & The Beast” is a fairy tale based on the story of a beautiful woman kept in a castle by a monstrous beast.  The simplicity of the story line and spot-on casting made this show an excellent choice for a first outing.  

Director Evan Davies is the music teacher at the school, and leads the cast to their beginning stage experience.  The cast should be very grateful to him by spearheading an effort to bring theatre to them, allowing them to have an experience sometimes (unfortunately) reserved for schools in larger areas.  

The high school is blessed with a wonderful facility for theatre- it has a wide stage with plenty of room for a chorus of dancers.  The lighting system could use some added punch, and there were some lighting issues during the show.  The school boasts a strong music department, and as they grow into more theatre, the basics of the art will fall into place for them as well.  There were several places in the show were blackouts would have been effective and some basic knowledge of sets would have helped to carry the production.  All in good time, though… 

Standout performances here were by Jonathan Pischel as LeFou and Joshua Brackett as Maurice.  Andrew Niziol as Lumiere has a fine singing voice, as does Bailey Bridge as Belle.  Asa Erlewine, who played Beast, showed some real dedication to learning the craft of theatre and had some of the show’s nicer moments.  Crowd favorites Kaitlyn Pfister & Jayde Swenson as the Silly Girls, were certainly fun to watch. Ethan Langston played Monsieur D’Arque as well as assisting with the lighting; best wishes to him as he continues theatre studies with the great program at Casper College soon. 

I encourage the school to continue offering productions- the students all certainly seemed enthusiastic and interested in doing more.  The little details will fall into place as the program grows.  Sincere congratulations to director Evan Davis and all of the cast & crew on their first successful production!

Performed May 12, 2009

Tammy Franklin
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Narrators: Katie Glendy, Michael Coon, Jayde Swenson
Prince/Beast: Asa Erlewine
Old Woman/Enchantress: Katelynn Miller
Belle: Bailey Bridge
Gaston: Kyle Herder
LeFou: Jonathan Pischel
Silly Girls: Kaitlyn Pfister, Jayde Swenson
Maurice: Joshua Brackett
Cogsworth: Jacob Wasserburger
Lumiere: Andrew Niziol
Babette: Rebecca Lashmett
Mrs Potts: Morgan Hanson
Chip: Breanna Bredthauer
Madame de la Grande Bouche: Danielle Dooper
Monsieur D'Arque: Ethan Langston 
Servants: Katelynn Miller, Jayde Swenson, Kaitlyn Pfister, Derek Davies
Villagers: Tiffany Risley, Sara Myer, Jacob Wasserburger, Joshua Brackett, Andrew Niziol, Katie Glendy, Morgan Hanson, Breanna Bredthauer, Michael Coon
Chip- Post Transformation: Derek Davies

Directed by Evan Davies


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