Ari Susu-Mago plays the role of Belle in Ashland High School’s production of Disney’s "Beauty and the Beast." The show opens Wednesday and will be the first time the Broadway play has been performed in the Rogue Valley.

Photo courtesy of AHS



In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Mountain Avenue Theatre, Ashland High School will present the first production in the Rogue Valley of the recent Broadway hit, Disney's "Beauty and the Beast."

This show for all ages will open on Wednesday, March 5, and run for only 10 performances on two weekends, closing on the second matinee Sunday, March 16.

This musical retelling of the "Beauty and the Beast" fairy tale was Disney's first Broadway show and recreated the magical world of the animated film in a live theatrical production.

The show opened in New York in 1994 and still attracts sell-out audiences worldwide.

It is already one of the longest running Broadway shows of all time. Music is by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton.

In the story of "Beauty and the Beast," Belle offers herself as a prisoner to the Beast to save her father, and she learns that people are not always what they appear to be. A number of characters are half-human, half household item, such as Mrs. Potts (a teapot) and Lumiere (a candelabra).

Music fans of the Disney film will enjoy song favorites including "Home" and the showstopper "Be Our Guest."

Ari Susu-Mago plays the role of Belle, and Jeffrey Star plays the Beast. Other featured players include Thomas Wood (Gaston), Josh Houghton (LeFou), Abby Dock (Mrs. Potts), Charlie Bass (Lumiere), Savannah Julian (Mme. De La Grande Bouche), Tucker Reed (Babette), Daniel Burt (Maurice), Forrest Wells (Cogsworth) and Ryan Mills (Chip).

The other performers in the 36-member cast play multiple roles as villagers and the enchanted.

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" will be directed by Bruce Hostetler, with choreography by Liisa Ivary.

Holly Johnson directs the orchestra for this family favorite.

Rosetta Shaw is the stage manager; she is assisted by Rebecca Perper and Neil Peterson.

Evening shows will be Wednesday through Saturday, March 5, 6, 7 and 8, and March 12, 13, 14 and 15, at 7:30 p.m., with two matinees on March 9 and 16 at 2 p.m. On Wednesdays, March 5 and 12, tickets for all ages are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For Thursday through Sunday, general admission tickets are $15 in advance ($17 at the door), and children under 12 and seniors over 60 are $10 in advance ($12 at the door).

Tickets are available at the Ashland High School main office, Paddington Station, Tree House Books, Music Coop and all Ashland elementary schools.

For more information, call 482-8771 x260.