A tale as old as time

MARSHALL – Many little girls dream of what it would be like to be a princess, but Emma Larson has to dream no longer as she plays the part of Belle for the Marshall Area Stage Company’s performance of “Beauty and the Beast.”

“When you’re little, you want to be a Disney princess. It’s weird how proper you have to be, but it’s so much fun,” Larson said.

MASC invites the public for performances of the musical “Beauty and the Beast” at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and on June 27, 28 and 29; and at 2 p.m. on Saturday and June 30 at the Marshall High School Theater.

Belle wasn’t the only one happy about her role.

Jesse Lee, who plays The Beast, said, “This is exciting. I’m reliving a part of my childhood.”

“It’s been so fun to see things come together. We have a wonderful set of actors that are making this show come along nicely,” said Mike Hulsizer, the director.

Children as well as adults have been working hard at their two-and-a-half hour practices five days a week to learn their lines, songs and stage directions.

“You have to play the character on a much larger scale. Everyone has seen the animated version where the characters can do anything, that’s hard to compete with. Expectations are higher than anything I’ve done before,” said Eric Deutz, who plays Lefou.

All of the kids were ecstatic just to be at rehearsal. They have seen the play over and over by now, but don’t seem to tire of it. There are many costumes and parts that are filled by people of all ages.

“In some scenes they have to sit on me, but only for pretend,” Clara Bader, the footstool, said.

Many of the cast play the role of both animated houseware and townspeople.

Emma Smalley plays the part of a townsperson and a towel.

“It’s fun to see all the costumes,” said Smalley. “I even knew ‘Be Our Guest’ before from the movie!”

Many of the cast quickly found out the play is not exactly like the Disney movie.

“The show is so different from the movie. It’s like the director’s extended version,” said Amanda Castro, the Baker’s Wife. “The energy of the whole production is infectious.”

When asked what it is like to be a Disney character, Tiffanie Downing, the little teacup, Chip, said, “You get to do and say everything the characters in the movie do. I realized not every line is the same, so when I watch the movie I say my lines instead.”

MASC performers have been putting in long hours in an effort to make the show the best it can be and encourages everyone in the community to come see its version of Beauty and the Beast.

“This is so much bigger than community theater. I find myself singing the music all the time. The story is so good. This is the single most fun you will have on stage as a performer,” said Alex Castro, The Baker. “You can see the play has a domino effect. Everything is finally falling into place and paying off.”