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Bloomfield Students Mount Beauty and the Beast

Audiences can expect professional caliber sets, musicians and performers.

Bloomield adults and children alike are already buzzing about the Bloomfield High Winter Musical musical Beauty and the Beast. Grown-ups are looking forward to the talent on display on and behind the stage, as the ambitious production boasts elaborate sights and sounds. Children, meanwhile, are excited to see Belle and Lumière in real life.

Bloomfield High English teacher and director Cormac McGowan has drummed up excitement in the play by touring members of his ensemble to township elementary schools. Seeing the performers appear in costumes from the Disney-film based play has stirred delighted anticipation among the grade school set.

And that’s all by design. McGowan said that for his seventeenth time directing the musical, he wanted to put on something the whole family can enjoy. Following the heavier mood of his previous effort, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, he wanted to give his performers a chance to go big, bold and bright.

“We wanted to do something where we could bring in a large crowd and a young crowd and that the community could enjoy,” McGowan told Patch.

A recent dress rehearsal showed off the show’s high level of talent and the results of the cast and crew’s hard work. McGowan credited his mix of stage veterans—including Kathleen McGrath as Belle, Jarrod Lee as the Beast and Aziz Naouai as Gaston—and newcomers to the Bloomfield stage.

“The first highlight of the performance will be our very experienced and talented group of principals, the majority of whom are seniors,” McGowan said. “They have a lot of experience and a lot of fun. The second highlight that we really are proud of is the extremely young cast in our ensemble. There are 26 students who are performing on stage for the first time.”

He also emphasized that his accomplished team working backstage was a critical role in the play.

“We have such a great stage crew,” McGowan said. “The stage crew is very disciplined, very experienced and very strong.”

The play’s choreography is by Chelsea Wright and the 11-piece musical group accompanying the plays is under the direction of Ilene Greenbaum and Jack Bender. 

Beauty and the Beast will be presented at the Doris E. Gilbert auditorium atBloomfield High School. The production will run Feb. 28th, March 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m. and March 3 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance for$10 at the BHS main office by calling (973) 680-8600. Remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $15. As a special opening night promotion, all advanced sale tickets for the Feb. 28th show will be $8. Tickets sold at the door that evening will be $15. 

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