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For the 10th summer musical in Random Lake, Lakeshore Productions, Inc., chose a return to the world of fairy tales with the beloved Disney version of Beauty and the Beast. Returning to direct was Professor Charlie Krebs of UW-Sheboygan. Linda O'Brien was the music director, and Jessica Mueller handled choreography. Debra Kosup-Kennedy was the costume designer.
Said to be the second most familiar fairy tale after Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast includes the story theme of a young woman held for ransom. Many versions filtered down over the years, but the 1991 Disney film established a standard while introducing a number of new characters, such as singing and dancing silverware.
Professor Krebs created roles for a huge cast (80+) with Cups, Forks, Spoons, Knives, Plates, Napkins, Wolves, Wind, Flowers, Townspeople as well as the major characters. Kate Vander Velden played the lead role of Belle, while RJ Skrepenski was the Beast. Samuel Vorpahl portrayed Belle's hometown suitor, Gaston. Leading the castle characters were David Bourgeois as Lumiere, Bob Eichner as Cogsworth, Kerri Rank as Mrs. Pots, Brittany Arndt as Babbette, and Yelena Drozdov as Madame de la Grande Bouche.
Music was provided by a unique piano, synthesizer and percussion trio.
In his director's notes, Krebs said Beauty and the Beast touches us like few stories can. "Perhaps it is the way the human spirit triumphs or the way someone can look beneath the surface and find beauty in the beast," he said.
The 10th anniversary musical was another tribute to the kind of creativity that Lakeshore Productions, Inc., and the Random Lake High School auditorium can produce. As the title song said: "Tale as old as time, Song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast..."