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Sierra Rep brings "Beast" of a musical to its stage in Historic Columbia State Park

Brooke Quintana as Belle
Brooke Quintana as Belle

Sierra Repertory Theatre brings to its stage a fairy tale fit for a Disney princess.

"Disney’s Beauty and the Beast" is one of modern musical theater’s biggest hits. It runs June 15-July 29 at SRT's Fallon House Theatre in Columbia.

The production tells the story of the independent Belle, trapped in her provincial town, who finds her life turned upside down as she takes her father’s place as a captive in an enchanted castle ruled by an angry Beast.

Based on the classic 1991 Disney animated film, the theatrical version celebrates an Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and is expanded with new melodies, according to a press release from SRT.

"It’s everything to love about the film and more in a stage spectacular," SRT said.

In the story, Belle gets help from the creatures in the castle, along with her own kindheartedness, to find the prince inside the Beast and works to break the magic that permeates the castle and its inhabitants. The classic musical love story includes well-known tunes “Be Our Guest” and the title song.

SRT's production will be directed and choreographed by Dann Dunn. "Beauty and the Beast has always been a story I've been quite partial to since the first time I saw the film,” Dunn said. “The story will always be one that makes me think of two very large artistic influences and supporters on my life that have since past on. My aunt brought me to see the film, which left me absolutely stunned. Years later, my grandmother took me to see the show on Broadway, which was incidentally the first Broadway show I ever saw.

"My mind was blown that the show was so close to the film in terms of aesthetic, and I was in awe of how all of the magic was created on stage right in front of me eyes. It was a truly magical moment, which I still remember sparking the idea of theater being something so incredibly special."

Belle will be played by SRT newcomer Brooke Quintana, whose credits include being part of the touring production of "Beauty and the Beast." Daniel Rubio stars as the Beast after playing the role for Broadway By the Bay and Mountain Play.

In addition to the production, there will be an opening-night reception on Friday, June 15, when the audience is invited to join the cast, production team and SRT staff for light refreshments at Christopher’s Ristorante at the City Hotel in Columbia State Historic Park. (no-host bar)

A free post-show talk-back will be offered on Friday, July 20, with members of the cast following that evening's performance.

Dunn said the production will appeal to audiences of all ages.

"What draws me most to the actual story is all of the wonderful lessons that are offered. It is a story of seeing beyond the physical, and looking into someone's heart," Dunn said. "It's a story about a thirst for knowledge that is never quenched and how that knowledge can bring people together. It's about a story of speaking from the heart and how love will always conquer all.

"Most of all, it's a story that makes it OK to be different and how our differences make us special. There's truly something for everyone.”

"Disney's Beauty and the Beast"

WHEN: 2 p.m. Wednesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays-Sundays; 7 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. June 15-July 29

WHERE: Historic Fallon House Theatre, 11175 Washington St, Columbia

TICKETS: $32-$47

ONLINE: www.SierraRep.org

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