Beauty and the Beast: A Show To Remember

Full-Length Musical Program Returns to the Stage

After canceling The Wedding Singer in 2020 and performing a musical revue in 2021, the biggest comeback for the musical program was performing Disney’s Beauty and the Beast live in front of a full house on April 21, 22, and 23. Director Mrs. Dalcamo (’90), assistant director Kendra Richmond (’20), pit director Mr. Fine, and vocal director Mrs. Shidemantle helped bring this show to life, along with 28 cast members, 6 student pit members, 8 professional pit members, 16 stage crew members, 2 costume moms, 2 prop moms, 9 set construction builders and painters, and many other volunteers.

With so many people working together, it was natural that new friendships formed. Ava Daugherty (’23) states, “Maklen Hoadley(’25) kind of became my child throughout the past five months. Any time someone saw one of us without the other, they’d be like ‘Where’s Maklen?’ or ‘Where’s Ava?’ He’s one of my best friends now.”

Considering this was the first musical since before COVID-19, and with only five seniors having the experience of having performed in a full show, the cast and crew had many new things to learn this year. One thing that was mainly different this past year was that the tech rehearsal and pit rehearsal were separate. Normally everything is fixed the Saturday before the show, but this year it was split due to time and differences in music books.

Molly Brunton (’23), who played the role of a Silly Girl, says that “The biggest difference between The Wedding Singer and Beauty and the Beast was the experience of tech week [and] show week. Because The Wedding Singer was cut short due to COVID-19, I had never got to experience the excitement and late nights of tech rehearsal week, or the nerves [and] joy of opening night [and] show week.”

Something different about this year’s musical were the professionally-rented costumes. Most schools just find costumes from their own costume closets or at local thrift stores, but this year Slippery Rock rented many costumes and found others in the costume closet. Almost all of the enchanted objects either did not get their costumes until the week before the show, which meant that new blocking had to be put into place in order to help them make it to their spots in time.

In order for a musical to take shape, dancing is a major component, and the choreography is what can make or break certain numbers. The student choreographer, Anna Schiller (’23), actually started training as a student choreographer during her 8th grade year under the guidance of Ashley Rodgers (’19) to learn the process of musical choreography. Schiller states, “For this year’s musical, I was able take a tap solo that I never got to perform and modify it to fit the cast and theĀ  song, so they were able to do the dance I created.” Schiller choreographed both the Gaston number as well as the Belle number. She could not do this alone, so with the help of Kendra Richmond (’20) and Mrs. Dalcamo (’90), they definitely made the choreography flow perfectly for each dance number.

In addition to renting costumes, designing the set, and creating the choreography, the musical staff also had to find gymnastic mats for Anderson Franco (’25), who played the role of Gaston, to land on after the final battle with the Beast, played by David Magliocca (’22). Magliocca’s role as the Beast was nothing new to his family, as Magliocca’s older brother Michael Magliocca (’10) played the same part when SRHS first performed Beauty and the Beast in 2008.

Not only did family and friends of the cast enjoy the performances in April, but the cast was also nominated for 13 Henry Mancini Awards. The cast was invited to perform at the Mancini Awards on May 22. Belle, played by Jordan Simmons (’22) was nominated for Best Actress. Jordan Davis (’22), Braden Callen (’24), and Andy Hudak (’24) were nominated as Best Supporting Actor/Actresses in their roles as Mrs. Potts, LeFou, and Maurice respectively. The entire production was also nominated for Best Musical, Best Costume Design, Best Ensemble, Best Choreography Execution, Best Lighting Design, Best Execution of Direction, Best Scenic Design, and Best Crew/Technical Execution.

At the event on May 22, Hudak won the award of Best Supporting Actor for his role as Belle’s father, Maurice.