WHS students present ‘Beauty and the Beast’ musical

Published 8:21 pm Friday, March 2, 2018

More than two dozen Washington High School students are hard at work preparing for “Beauty and the Beast,” this year’s spring musical.

The show will be presented March 23 and 24 at 7 p.m., and March 25 at 3 p.m. in the WHS Performing Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the school and from any cast member for $8; admission at the door is $10 per person.

The students and their faculty advisers have spent weeks in anticipation of opening night.

BELLE AND BEAUS: Bailey Gerard, starring as Belle, is flanked by Joe Vick (left) as the beast and Riley VanStaalduinen, who plays the young prince.

Cast in the lead roles are Joe Vick (the beast), Bailey Gerard (Belle) and Riley VanStaalduinen (the young prince and narrator). Also featured are Colston Lyons (Lefou), Devin Bunch (Gaston), Ben Crawford (Cogsworth), Mary Grace Wilder (Mrs. Potts), Tripp Pippen (Lumiere), Hannah Daniel (old beggar woman), George Dominguez (Maurice), Gregory Bryant (Monsieur D’Arque), Stella Frisbie (Chip), Sidney Chrisman (Babette) and Abby Harris (Madame De La Grande Bouche).

Cast members in supporting roles include Alissa Maxwell, Callie Smith, Cassie Teixeira, Hope Stallings, Zoe Davenport, Megan Toften, Ashley Woolard, Victoria MacMiller, Zoey Solano, Reagan Heath, Cara MacMiller and Brantley Long.

YOUNG THESPIANS: Appearing in the musical are (from left) Tripp Pippin as Lumiere, Mary Grace Wilder as Mrs. Potts and Ben Crawford as 

Staging a musical extravaganza is a longtime theatrical tradition at Washington High School, dating back to the late 1960s production of “South Pacific.” In the early years, shows weren’t presented annually and the next musical didn’t make it to the stage until 1979 when students performed “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” according to research shared by WHS teacher and musical adviser Penny Paul.

Students took another break, Paul pointed out, before performing “Frankenstein Follies” during the 1981-1982 school year. WHS musicals have been staged almost annually since then, although Paul’s research notes that no show was performed during the 1993-1994 year.

Popular performances have included “Oklahoma!” (1983), “The Music Man” (1989), “Singin’ in the Rain” (1993), “Bye Bye Birdie” (1999), “Damn Yankees” (2007), “Little Shop of Horrors” (2014) and “Mary Poppins” (2015).

Several shows proved to be such crowd pleasers that they were presented more than one year. These include “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1987 and 2005), “Anything Goes” (1988 and 2010), “Grease” (1990 and 2016), “Annie” (1992 and 2012), “The Sound of Music” (1995 and 2003), “The Wizard of Oz” (1996 and 2011) and “Peter Pan” (1997 and 2017).

TAKING THE STAGE: Colston Lyons (left) and Devin Bunch are cast as Lefou and Gaston, respectively, in the WHS show.