Catherine Charlebois and Ben Michael to Lead North Carolina Theatre's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Catherine Charlebois and Ben Michael to Lead North Carolina Theatre's BEAUTY AND THE BEASTNorth Carolina Theatre, the region's premiere nonprofit professional theatre, has announced casting for the upcoming production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast, playing July 25-30 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Be our guest for this "tale as old as time," the musical for all generations. A global phenomenon, Beauty and the Beast, has won the hearts of millions of people worldwide, running for 13 years on Broadway and earning nine Tony nominations, including Best Musical.

Starring in the lead roles are Catherine Charlebois as "Belle" and Ben Michael as "Beast." Charlebois recently performed in the hit musical Wicked as "Nessarose" both on Broadway and for the National Tour. She has also performed in many regional theatres across the U.S. in such shows as Beauty and the Beast, Steel Magnolias, and Fiddler on the Roof. Michael was previously seen on the NC Theatre stage as "Rupunzel's Prince" in the 2015 production of Into the Woods. He makes his return to NC Theatre this time as the cursed "Beast." Michael has also performed in many other regional theatres. His credits include South Pacific, Legally Blonde and Daddy Long Legs.

Beauty and the Beast also features Peter Saide as the nefarious and narcissistic "Gaston." Saide's previous credits include the international tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella, Off-Broadway productions Skin Tight and Death for Five Voices, and numerous region productions including Hair, Mamma Mia! and Beauty and the Beast.

Taking on the roles of the Beast's cursed servants, who have been transformed into a variety of household items, are Dirk Lumbard and Michael Brian Dunn as "Lumiere" and "Cogsworth." Ann Van Cleave, who previously played the role on Broadway, will take the stage as "Mrs. Potts."

The cast is rounded out by Matthew Simpkins as "Le Fou," Talia Robinson as "Babette," Andrew Delano Farmer as "Chip," Lamont Wade as "Maurice" and Aimee Henderson as "Madame de la Grande Bouche."

Among the ensemble are Ethan Baker, Justine A. Blackmon, Anna Virginia Conger, Elise Dwenger, Regan Featherstone, Joseph Gaitens, Abigail Gatlin, Chris Helton, Troy Hussmann, Joshua Keen, John Langley, Rebecca Layko, Daniel Marhelko, Katie Moran, Gabrielle Phillips, Amanda Blaire Spruill, Cooper Stanton, Lydia Tart, William Thomason, Lamont Wade, Emily Thomas Wells, Collin Yates.

Sam Scalamoni will direct the production, which starts rehearsals in early July. Scalamoni, a New York based freelance director of theatre across the U.S. and worldwide, is the director of the critically acclaimed national tour of Elf the Musical. Additionally, he directed the Ogunquit Playhouse's recent production of Beauty and the Beast and served as the associate director of the most recent national and international tours of Beauty and the Beast.

Beauty and the Beast will open on July 25 and will run through Sunday, July 30, at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts. For tickets visit nctheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, call 919-831-6941 x6949.

Established in 1984, North Carolina Theatre is Raleigh's premier, non-profit professional regional theatre. With its successful formula of producing top quality musicals with top national performers and local talent, North Carolina Theatre has been instrumental in the revitalization of downtown Raleigh over the years. Through its conservatory, it has provided exceptional arts training to hundreds of local youth. By offering broad access to live theatre, while strengthening economic growth, the organization continues to fortify the cultural vitality of the region.

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