’Beauty and the Beast’ opens Friday

Linda Saholt

News Review Correspondent

’Beauty and the Beast’ opens Friday“We are really excited about opening weekend of ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” said Christina Scrivner, who is in charge of fundraising and promotions for Ridgecrest Musical Enrichment Society. The group is presenting the Disney musical here over the next two weekends.

Tickets are now on sale at Red Rock Books. Performances will be held in the Parker Performing Arts Center at Burroughs High School on Friday, Oct. 12, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 13. at 7 p.m.; Sunday Oct. 14, at 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 p.m. Seating is limited to 300 per night, and the play runs only six nights, so get your tickets now!

Tickets cost $10 per RMES member or $12 per student or child. General admission is $15. Schrivner recommended purchasing tickets in advance.

“We are close to selling out for Oct. 13. We still have plenty of tickets available for the12th and the 14th,” said Schrivner. “We are confident we will be selling out.

“This is a well-known and well-loved show, with a great cast and terrific direction by Bill Blanc. This is the biggest undertaking for RMES since our organization, three years ago.”

The husband and wife team of Kevin and Melanie Anderson playing the Beast and Belle, respectively. Playing the insufferable Gaston is Ryan Loewen, while Larry Cosner III will exercise his comic abilities in the role of Lumiére.

Other members of the talented Cosner family appearing include Lisa Cosner as Mrs. Potts, Larry Cosner Jr. as Cogswroth and Brian Cosner as LeFou.

Becky Garcia will be Madame de la Grande Bouche, Krysten Coursey will be Babette, and young Megan Anderson and Daniel Cosner will alternate in the role of Chip.

Bill Farris, another audience favorite, will play Maurice, while other local talents appearing will include Phillip Randolph as Monsieur D’Arque, Ben Bockhahn as Baker and Michael Petersen as Bookseller.

Gaston’s cronies will be played by Cameron LaBrie and Adam Curry, while the silly girls ogling Gaston at every turn will include Dianna Taylor, Kathryn Garcia and Sarah Robinson.

Many other local performers will appear in the chorus and as dancers, while Blanc has a large and stellar production crew supporting him as well. The talented orchestra contains just about every talented instrumentalist in Ridgecrest.

The whole production is a labor of love, with rehearsals having gone on for about nine months.

A nonprofit organization, RMES has the purpose of providing support for the Sierra Sands Unified School District’s middle and high school performing arts programs. This support is possible because of a variety of fund-raising concerts and events. Group members hopes to pass on their passion for the arts and to inspire the community of Ridgecrest to make a difference in the lives of our young musicians and thespians.

“We’ve only been going for three years, but already we have been able to donate $20,000 to the school district,” said Schrivner. “We’ll be poised to double that with this show. We encourage people to come and bring their families to see the show and support the school district. We believe we will have a really good show.”

She added that the generosity of the community has also allowed the group to invest in sound equipment to enhance performances.

Scrivner went on to say that the group has a three-pronged focus. “First, is to provide quality entertainment for our community. Second, is to showcase young up-and-coming musical talent. Third, is to donate the proceeds back to the school district’s performing arts program.”

Sponsors include Windows,Walls N’ Floors, Stafford Pest Control, Cosner-Neipp Corporation, the Exchange Club, VIP Housing, Loewen’s and EZ Rental and Sales.

“These seven producing sponsors together paid the costs for the $8,000 in royalties it cost so we can put on the show. This is the caliber of show our community wants,” said Schrivner.

She went on to thank Principal Dave Ostash and Assistant Principal Bryan Auld of BHS, who gave generously of their time and assistance to facilitate the project, giving RMES a place to store and build sets, making the PAC available and much more.

Story First Published: 2012-10-10