The theatrical dream of many students at Delaware Valley High School will finally come true this April, as a cast of 40 students will partake in Walt Disney’s classic musical, Beauty and the Beast.
For years, students at DVHS have been "bugging," retired music teacher, Kim Golden to perform a Disney classic, she said. Finally, it is happening because the right number of actors are available. Golden explained that, with the right mixture of students’ talents, and enough male participants, the students will finally preform a classic that will be great for everyone. Golden said having male participants is often hard because they are very involved in athletics. But, Beauty and the Beast will have three football players and two track athletes on stage. She added that the athletes will play a large role in the dance show and they are doing, "really quite well."
As for why she chose Beauty and the Beast, Golden said it is her favorite Disney musical because it is a "brilliant score." She said the musical appeals to adults and kids alike, plus the fact that it is, "delightful."
The Beast, who was once a handsome prince, but was turned into a frightening animalistic creature because of his selfish ways, will be portrayed by Kyle Brown, a sophomore. Brown, who ran out of a room screaming, when he learned of this year’s show, smiled as he discussed the musical. After working hard, Brown said that to finally be in this kind of musical is "really rewarding."
Senior and one of the lead characters, Mikaela Edelman will be Belle, a woman who gives her freedom to a beast, in exchange for her father’s freedom. Edelman is just as excited as Brown.
Edelman said her role is kind of hard because she wasn’t expecting the part to be "so in-depth." She explained that acting as the character has not been easy, because she has to tap into her emotions.
As for Brown, he too, said his role is a bit difficult, in part, because people know the musical's plot and, "there’s many layers to the beast." He explained that the character starts as an animal and then as the Beast interacts with Belle, ultimately his softness and the human within appears. Thus far, in rehearsals, Brown said, "blocking" seems to be the most challenging part of the performance. He said, that the actors are told where to position themselves on the stage, while also remembering the details of their character. He added, it is a challenge because, "you want to bring your character to life, through you."
As for Edelman, she said the most challenging part for her, is staying genuine to her character. Being a Disney cartoon, she said "it’s kind of easy to get a little cheesy," and so staying genuine with the emotions and staying real is a test.
For Brown, his favorite part of this musical is creating magic. He explained that because the students have never done a Disney show, and how hard everyone is working, he is glad to see that the cast and crew are doing, "an amazing job."
Edelman loves the group numbers, and of the songs, "Be My Guest," is one of her favorites, because most of the cast is involved. With the cast's involvement, she said it’s an opportunity for everyone to connect, plus "it’s a lot of fun," she said with a smile.
Two years ago, Golden retired from her teaching position, but she continues to direct the plays because she "loves it" she said. Having taught music in the elementary school for years, today, to be working with the teenagers is "really rewarding and fun" as Golden has seen the students become young adults. Of this year’s cast, she said, "we have a ridiculous amount of talent here." Being a musical, she added that to typically have one or two good voices and a dancer is a treat. But with the current cast "we have singer after singer," which is "just remarkable," as there are also wonderful dancers she said with a beam of pride.
One of best parts of directing the shows, Golden said, is working with the various staff, which she called "wonderful." For years, Golden has worked with some of the staff as they bring their own talents to the table, enriching the students dancing skills or bringing unique artistic flairs to every show. Of her job, Golden said she is proud of the DVHS’s theatrical department because of how successful it is. She said the reason for the department's success, is because of the "people I’ve surrounded myself with." A large part of why the shows are successful, she said is because, "you’re only as good as the people you work with."
Heaven however, comes after the very first performance. Golden explained that, the very best thing happens when the curtain closes after opening night, and everything is over. After that, she said there is a huge, "scream on stage" when the cast celebrates their first performance.
This year, there will be four shows, because Golden is trying something a little new, given that Beauty and the Beast is a family show. There will be a show on Friday night, a Saturday matinee and a performance Saturday night, with the last performance being a Sunday matinée. Never before, has there been two shows in one day. Smiling, Golden said, "this will be very interesting to see." She concluded that the students will, "hold up better than I will, I’m sure."
Shows will be Friday, April 12 at 7:00 p.m., Saturday April 13 at 1 and 7 p.m. and Sunday the 14th at 1 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students or senior citizens.