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York Little Theater's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Set To Run 11/6-22

York Little Theatre is proud to present Broadway's classic musical fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, which will run from November 6 – 22, 2009. The production features the music of Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton. Beauty and the Beast is based on the 1991 Academy Award winning feature film of the same name and was nominated for 9 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. The show was the inaugural Broadway musical from Disney Theatrical Productions and became Broadway's sixth longest-running production with 5,464 performances between 1994 and 2007.

Beauty and the Beast, which has been characterized as "family-friendly, tried and true entertainment," tells of a young woman's fantastic adventure when she becomes the key to breaking an enchantress' curse on a spoiled prince. It features dark castles, magic mirrors, enchanted objects and stirring and beloved music.

Directed by Artistic Director, Eric Bradley Long, YLT's production also features choreography and fight choreography by Melissa McGinley, sets by Technical Director Bob McCleary, costumes by Costume Coordinator Patee Pizzirusso, and the Musical Direction of Joe Reed.  "This is such an iconic movie," explains Long, "and the challenge for us is to make it fresh and new for our audiences."

For Technical Director Bob McCleary, the challenge of building the set which was created by Set Designer Jeff Pettyjohn, included a huge, versatile castle with two turntables, elevator, and multi-use spiral staircase. Long described the set as "one big playground." And, of course, Beauty and the Beast audiences can expect some wonderful special effects.

Costume Coordinator Patee Pizzirusso and Co-Designer Lisa Gildea created the nearly 100 costumes required for this show. Pizzirusso describes the costuming as "non-traditional, art nouveau, with a different, non-cartoonish feel."  The Costumers found it a challenge to keep the flavor continuity throughout the show and loved some of their more interesting tasks. "We wanted the enchanted objects, when returned to human form, to have clothing that was still representative of what they were as objects," explains Pizzirusso. "And some of our re-styling of clothing was really fun. For example, we turned 70s Prom Tux coats into fantasy-style jackets."

Choreographer Melissa McGinley used traditional French dances throughout the production including an intense Can-Can segment in "Be Our Guest." She also used a traditional French style dance called Apache to influence the fight choreography.

YLT's local cast of approximately 35 features Erica Bonsall as Belle, Giulio Marchi as Beast, Tony Crerand at Gaston, Shannon Alamo as Mrs. Potts, Lee Howard as Cogsworth, and Darren Wagner as Lumiere. "This is a solid, talented cast which really does comedy well," says Long. "It can be difficult for an actor who is playing an object to keep it honest and keep it moving."
As a special treat, YLT is offering a Tea with Belle before the 3:00 performance on Sunday, November 8. The tea begins at 1 p.m., seating is limited, reservations are required, and the cost is $5 per person.

Performances are on November 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, and 21 at 8 p.m.; and on November 8, 15 and 22 at 3 p.m. Beauty and the Beast is part of YLT's 2009-2010 Columbia Gas Season and is sponsored by The Fertility Center. Ticket prices are $10 - $20. More information and tickets are available by calling the box office at 717-854-5715, 11 – 6, Monday through Friday, or visiting

York Little Theatre is a nonprofit community theatre which values and nurtures the irreplaceable role of the arts and is dedicated to engaging and enriching its entire, diverse community in the dramatic arts through a broad range of professionally directed, entertaining, stimulating, and sometimes provocative performances.

York Little Theatre is located at 27 South Belmont Street, York PA, just south of Market Street at the intersection of I83. York Little Theatre is a proud member of The Cultural Alliance of York.

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