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Olney Theatre Center Gives New Life To Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST This Holiday Season

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Director Marcia Milgrom Dodge returns to Olney Theatre; Jade Jones stars as Belle; Cancer survivor Evan “Lord Pegleg” Ruggiero cast as the Beast.

Resuming its tradition of big, family musicals for the holidays, Olney Theatre Center produces Disney's Beauty and the Beast (November 5, 2021 - January 2, 2022).

Directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge, who wowed Olney audiences with her Helen Hayes Award-nominated production of Once, this Broadway hit gets a fresh perspective with two performers who challenge our expectations of a Disney Princess and her Prince.

Jade Jones, who in 2020 received two Helen Hayes Award nominations for her performances in School Girls, or the African Mean Girls Play (Round House Theatre) and Into the Woods (Ford's Theatre) stars as Belle. Evan Ruggiero co-stars as the Beast; after losing a leg to cancer in his teenage years, Ruggerio continued to pursue a dancing career and has gone on to become a Drama Desk-nominated performer and the self-proclaimed "Lord Pegleg."

The invited press performance is Thursday, November 11 at 8:00 pm. Interested critics may reserve two tickets by emailing sstraub@olneytheatre.org. Tickets are available from $42 - $99 and can be purchased at olneytheatre.org or 301-924-3400.

For decades, Disney and specifically its Beauty and the Beast have defined "beauty" for children all over the world. Marcia Milgrom Dodge's production aims to celebrate "beauty" in all its forms. Milgrom Dodge has a long track record of "smuggling in" a deeper meaning to classic stories, and uncovering the burning, contemporary truths beneath them. She explained, "Our production celebrates community, authenticity, acceptance, and kindness; and with the help of a few magic spells, provides a thoroughly inclusive, 2021 'Happily Ever After.'"

Says Olney Theatre's Artistic Director Jason Loewith, "Throughout the years, media in all its forms have defined western notions of 'beauty.' As cultural arts workers, we recognize these definitions are limiting and have caused immeasurable harm particularly for women and those differently-abled. Under Marcia's visionary leadership, this production marks a titanic shift, reimagining a beloved family classic for the time we're in."


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