Muny's Beauty and the Beast, With Clow, Darling, Page, Sapp, Rodriguez, Begins June 21

By Andrew Gans
June 21, 2010

The St. Louis Muny launches its new season with Disney's Beauty and the Beast, which begins performances June 21 at the nation's oldest and largest outdoor theatre.

Directed by Matt Lenz with choreography by Kelli Barclay, the production will run through June 30.

The cast of the family-friendly musical, which is based on the animated film of the same name, is headed by James Clow and Sarah Darling in the title roles with Ken Page as Maurice, Jeb Brown as Cogsworth, Lara Teeter as Lumiere, Leslie Denniston as Mrs. Potts, Robb Sapp as Lefou, Nicholas Rodriguez as Gaston, Meg Gillentine as Babette, Abigail Friedman as Chip and Gaelen Gilliland as Madame de la Grand Bouche.

The ensemble comprises Matthew Bauman, Amy Blackman, Jennifer Brissman, Will Burton, Audrey Cardwell, Nick Cosgrove, Alex DeLeo, Alexandra Ferrara, Lili Froehlich, Robert Earl Gleason, Leeds Hill, Laura Irion, Ryan Koss, Taylor Louderman, Anne Markt, Kenny Metzger, Jordan Newmark, Desi Oakley, Charles Osborne, Mary Michael Patterson, John Riddle, Adam Rogers, Michelle Rambola, Hadley Schnuck and Alex Shaw.

Beauty and the Beast, according to press notes, is the classic story of "Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity."

The production features musical direction by Ben Whiteley, set design by Steven Gilliam and lighting design by David Lander. The production stage manager is Nevin Hedley;  the assistant stage manager is Timothy Eaker.

Paul Blake produces for The Muny; the associate producer is Mike Bosner.

The musical boasts music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

The remainder of the season includes Titanic, The Musical, July 5-11; Damn Yankees, July 12-18; Cats, July 19-25; The Sound of Music, July 26-Aug. 1; Footloose, Aug. 2-8; and Show Boat, Aug 9-15.

For more information about The Muny and the 2010 productions, call (314) 361-1900 or visit www.muny.org.