CANAJOHARIE — The Summer Drama Club will present the beloved, classic musical “Beauty and the Beast” on Saturday, July 31, at 2 p.m. in the Canajoharie High School’s Arkell Performing Arts Auditorium.
The show features students from Canajoharie and two other school districts.
“We hope everyone can join us and ‘be our guests’ for either or both,” performances, said Director Allison Ramsey.
Ramsey, directing the production alongside Mason Chase Rogers and Norma Bowley (also acting as musical director), noted that this production was originally planned for the summer of 2020.
Once it was finally safe for the club to officially convene in 2021, they only had about one month to rehearse this production, compared to several months for the Canajoharie-Fort Plain Drama Club’s annual spring show.
“We worked for hours every single day this summer,” and “even some weekends,” Ramsey said, noting that “every single person on that stage has put so much time and effort into this show. I couldn’t be any prouder.”
While Ramsey said that the most challenging aspect of mounting this summer’s production was timing — “working with everyone’s schedules and conflicts” — she said the most satisfying aspect has been “seeing the end result.”
Ramsey recalled this production’s inspiring journey from day one to opening night, wherein she witnessed the cast members grow “from struggling to read lines with me in the music room, to now making me cry happy tears on the side of the stage while they sing their solos.”
“These kids,” said Ramsey of the show’s performers of various ages, “have serious talent and I am so proud that I got to help them show it and be their director and friend.”
This “tale as old as time” will feature Chiarra Morris as Belle, Jeffrey Lillard as Gaston, Richard Catarino as LeFou, Michael Palmeri as Maurice, Matt Daley as Monsieur D’Arque, Dawson Sweet as the Beast, Alexandria Gyurik as Lumier, Mackenzie “Max” Richtmeyer as Cogsworth, Avery Merchant as Mrs. Potts, Lyracey Fowler as the Wardrobe, and Milo Clark as Chip.
The show includes 11 leads, 17 additional cast members and 10 crew members.
General admission tickets are $8. Student and senior citizen admission is $5. Free age 5 and under. Family and group discounts available at the door.