Be their guest at Moorestown Theater Co.'s (MTC) production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. this weekend at Our Lady of Good Counsel.
MTC has performed the classic Disney tale twice before, but this is the first time at Good Counsel, said MTC producing artistic director Mark Morgan, who began running the Drama Club at the school a decade ago.
Morgan said putting on a school show is always different from an MTC show because "all the kids (at the school) have known each other for many years. There's definitely a greater comfort level from day one ... I think that helps the process of putting on a good show."
The production features 53 performers and 20 crew members from fifth to eighth grade, some of whom have gained a deeper appreciation for the show since their , where they heard Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken perform several numbers from the show, Morgan said.
Based on the first animated film ever to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar, Beauty and the Beast Jr. is full of "memorable characters ... a story everybody knows, and songs you can hum along to, or sing along to," said Morgan.
Plus, there's something to be said for watching a show live, performed by familiar faces, he said. "I'm obviously biased, but there's nothing like seeing live theater versus seeing it on a screen."
The cast and crew will premiere the show at 1 p.m. Thursday for the K-4 students, with a second show at 1 p.m. Friday for fifth through eighth grade.
The show opens to the general public with a 7:30 p.m. show on Friday night, followed by a show at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
All the shows will be performed in the auditorium at Our Lady of Good Counsel School, 23 W. Prospect Ave.
Tickets, as always, are $10 and can be purchased online on the MTC website or at the door—though Morgan said the Counsel shows always sell well and encouraged those who want to attend to buy their tickets in advance.