NAPERVILLE, IL – BrightSide Theatre, Naperville’s only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district, kicks off their 6th Season – A Season of Classic Broadway Shows – with the enchanting classic Disney Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast. Beauty and the Beast performing at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Street in Naperville November 11-17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, or by phone at 630-447-TIXS (8497).
The cast includes: Brett Baleskie (Naperville); Abby Boegh (Aurora); Jim Heatherly (Bloomingdale); Eric Hansen (Bolingbrook); Andrew Taylor Swanson (Downers Grove); Jennie Goss (Elgin); Connor Hernandez (Glen Ellyn); Katie Zarletti (Glenview); Logan Baffico (LaGrange Park); Eric Downs (Oswego) and Alexis Aker, Michelle Hackman, Jacob Huddilston, Rachel Meloan, Cullen Rogers, Shaina Summerville, Ryan P.C. Trimble and Jesek West (Chicago).
The classic Disney Academy Award®-winning animated feature film celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year with a re-release of the film and then a new live action film in theatres early next year clearly makes the Broadway Musical a Classic Broadway show. The story of Beauty and the Beast dates back to a late 18th-century classic French fairy tale, telling the story of Belle, a beautiful and intelligent young woman who feels out of place in her provincial French village. When her father is imprisoned in a mysterious castle, Belle’s attempt to rescue him leads to her capture by the Beast. The only way for the Beast to become human once again is if he learns to love and be loved in return. The Beast’s enchanted household-populated by such beloved characters as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Chip watch anxiously as Belle and the Beast grow to understand and befriend one another. Their feelings grow ever deeper as the petals of the enchanted rose continue to fall-will they confess their love for one another before it is too late? Experience the romance and enchantment of this classic musical love story that has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide.
Title: Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Music: Alan Menken
Lyrics: Howard Ashman & Tim Rice
Book: Linda Wollverton
Director: Jeffrey Cass
Musical Director: Jon Neuhoff
Choreographer: Jeni Donahue
Cast: Jesek West (Belle), Jacob Huddilston (Beast), Brett Baleskie (Gaston), Connor Hernandez (Lafou), Jim Heatherly (Maurice) Cullen Rogers (Cogsworth), Andrew Taylor Swanson (Lumiere), Jennie Goss (Mrs. Potts), Logan Baffico (Chip) Michelle Hackman (Madame de la Grande Bouche) Katie Zarletti (Babette) Completing the cast –Alexis Aker, Abby Boegh, Eric Downs, Eric Hansen, Rachel Meloan, Shaina Summerville and Ryan P.C. Trimble.
Location: Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College, 31 S. Ellsworth Street, Naperville. IL 60540
Dates: November 11-27, 2016
Curtain Times: Fridays & Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm
Tickets: $27 Discounts: Students/Seniors $24. Groups 10+ /$20. Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, by phone 630-447-TIXS (8497) or the night of the performance at the box office at the Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College.
About the Creative Team
Alan Menken (Music) Alan Menken’s music and lyrics have become an integral part of the fabric of our lives since his first works were produced nearly 40 years ago. His stage musicals include God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, Atina: Evil Queen of the Galaxy, Real Life Funnies, Little Shop of Horrors, Kicks, The Dream on Royal Street, Beauty and The Beast, A Christmas Carol,Weird Romance, King David, The Little Mermaid,Sister Act, Leap of Faith, Newsies, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz. Song and score credits for film musicals include The Little Mermaid, Beauty and The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, The Shaggy Dog, Home on the Range, Enchanted, Tangled andMirror Mirror. Individual songs for film includeRocky V – “The Measure of a Man”, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – “My Christmas Tree”, Life With Mikey – “Cold Enough to Snow”, Noel – “Winter Light” and Captain America: First Avenger – “Star Spangled Man”. Television credits include writing songs for Sesame Street, the ABC mini-seriesLincoln, a musical episode of The Neighbors and the ABC series Galavant. His chart topping songs have included “Beauty and the Beast”, “A Whole New World”, “Colors of the Wind” and “Go the Distance”. Winner of the 2012 Tony and Drama Desk awards for his score for Newsies, he has won more Academy Awards than any other living individual, including eight Oscars® with 4 for Best Score and 4 for Best Song; 11 Grammy® Awards (including Song of the Year for “A Whole New World”); 7 Golden Globes; London’s Evening Standard Award; the Olivier Award; the Outer Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award. Other notable achievements include induction into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Billboard’s number one single (“A Whole New World“) and number one album (Pocahontas). In 2001 he received the distinction of being named a Disney Legend. Awarded two doctorates in Fine Arts from New York University and the North Carolina School of the Arts. In 2010 he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Alan’s upcoming works include a stage production of A Bronx Tale, a City Center’s Encores series production of God Bless You Mr. Rosewater, a live-action film adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, a Sony animated movie titled Sausage Party, an as-yet-untitled film musical project at Universal Pictures.
Howard Ashman (Lyrics) Best known as a pivotal creative mind behind the renaissance of Disney animation and his work on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and The Beast (which is dedicated to, “Our friend, Howard Ashman, who gave a Mermaid her voice and a Beast his soul…”) Ashman’s first love was theater. Ashman was a founder of off off Broadway’s renowned WPA Theater, where he conceived, wrote and directed God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, as well as the classic musical, Little Shop of Horrors (both music by Alan Menken). In 1986, he wrote and directed the Broadway musical Smile (music by Marvin Hamlisch). Lamented as a lost treasure of the 1980’s theater scene, Smile remains popular on High School and College campuses throughout the country. Howard Ashman died in 1991 from complications of AIDS. For more information, please visit howardashman.com.
Tim Rice (Lyrics) has worked in music, theater, and film since 1965, when he met Andrew Lloyd Webber, a fellow struggling songwriter. Rather than pursue Tim’s ambitions to write rock or pop songs, they turned their attention to Andrew’s obsession – musical theater. Their first collaboration, The Likes Of Us (lyrics by Tim, music by Andrew), was an unsuccessful show based on the life of Dr. Barnardo, the Victorian philanthropist. Their next three works together were much more successful: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. Tim has also worked with other distinguished popular composers such as Elton John (The Lion King, Aida), Alan Menken (Aladdin, King David, Beauty and the Beast), and Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Chess). From Here to Eternity, with music by newcomer Stuart Brayson, coproduced with Lee Menzies, directed by Tamara Harvey, and with book by Bill Oakes, premiered in the West End at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2013. He formed his own cricket team in 1973 and was president of the MCC in 2002. In 2013, he wrote and presented a 52-part series for BBC Radio 2, American Pie, a trawl through the music and musicians of every American State. He has won several awards, mainly for the wrong thing or for simply turning up.
Linda Woolverton (Book) writing credits include the screenplay for the animated feature film BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Golden Globe winner and Academy Award Best Picture nominee); the screenplay (shared) for HOMEWARD BOUND: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY; screenplay (shared) for the animated feature film THE LION KING; the book for the Broadway musical BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Tony Award nomination for Best Book of a Musical, winner 1998 Olivier Award Best New Musical); and book (shared) for Elton John and Tim Rice’s Broadway musical AIDA. Also she has written two young-adult novels, STAR-WIND and RUNNING BEFORE THE WIND. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre Arts from California State University Long Beach and a Master’s degree in Theatre from California State University Fullerton. Linda is currently involved in writing and producing film projects for Miramax and Revolution studios. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband Lee Flicker and daughter Keaton.
About the Director
Jeffrey Cass (Director/Artistic Director) a Joseph Jefferson Award Nominee most recently directed Monty Python’s Spamalot, The Sound of Music, It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Cabaret, RENT, Company, BrightSide Theatre’s inaugural production – Run For Your Wife and also for BrightSide Theatre’s Youth Project inaugural production Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, Jr., Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Jr. Disney’s Aladdin, Jr. and Legally Blonde Jr. the Musical. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University where he also studied lighting design and stage management. He previously served as the Producing Director for Circle Theatre where he directed The Who’s Tommy (6 Joseph Jefferson Nominations including Best Musical and Best Director) Neil LaBute’s
Bash and The Distance From Here (Midwest Premier), Burning Blue (Midwest Premier),
Crazy for You, Beauty and the Beast, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Urinetown, Peter Pan and New Plays Festival 2 and 3.
About the Music Director
Jon Neuhoff (Musical Director)Recent musical keyboard activities include Spamalot with BrightSide Theatre; Legally Blonde and Oklahoma with Summer Place Theatre; and selections from Annie, Oliver, Matilda, The Wiz, Hairspray, Rent, Nutcracker, and Frozen with Broadway in Naperville. He is also the accompanist for “Cellissimo” (a Suzuki cello ensemble), ballet classes for the Naperville School of Performing Arts, the Bel Suono Asian American Girls Choir, and Naperville District #204 solos/auditions/competitions.
About the Choreographer
Jeni Donahue (Choreographer) Jeni is a freelance choreographer who earned her degree in Vocal & Dance Performance from Columbia College. She currently works with high schools, theatre companies and colleges throughout the United States.
BrightSide Theatre (Jeffrey Cass, Artistic Director and Julie Ann Kornak, Executive Director) now in our 6th season as Naperville’s only professional theatre performing in the historic downtown district. BrightSide Theatre is committed to Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe. BrightSide’s shows are selected to be a unique blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community. BrightSide Theatre is partially supported and funded by a generous grant from the City of Naperville. For more information on BrightSide Theatre, please visit www.brightsidetheatre.com.