The Olney Theatre Center's production of Beauty and the Beast began performances in Maryland November 5. The musical, directed by Marcia Milgrom Dodge with choreography by Josh Walden, is set to run through January 2.
The production has drawn attention for its inclusive casting, starring Jade Jones—who identifies as a queer and plus-sized Black woman—as Belle as well as Drama Desk nominee and amputee Evan Ruggiero as the Beast. In tandem with the show, the Olney Theatre is celebrating the production with its #IAmBeauty campaign, encouraging audiences to share what makes them feel beautiful.
In addition to Jones and Ruggiero, the production stars Dylan Arredondo as Cogsworth, Jessica Lauren Ball as Madame de la Grand Bouche, Iyona Blake as Mrs. Potts, Michael Burrell as Gaston, Hailey Rebecca Ibberson as Babette, Sasha Olinick as Maurice, Miranda Pepin as Chip, Bobby Smith as Lumiere, and John Sygar as LeFou. Rounding out the company are Jessica Bennett, Selena Clyne-Galindo, Erica Leigh Hansen, Quynh-My Luu, Ariel Messeca, Shiloh Orr, Connor James Reilly, Graciela Rey, Megan Tatum, Rick Westerkamp, Tyler White, and Michael Wood.
The production features scenic design by Narelle Sissons, lighting design by Colin K. Bills, costume design by Ivania Stack, sound design by Matt Rowe, wig design by Ali Pohanka, fight choreography by Robb Hunter, music direction by Walter “Bobby” McCoy, and stage management by John Keith Hall.
With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton, the beloved Disney musical originally opened on Broadway in 1994, playing 46 previews and 5,461 performances.
Visit the Olney Theatre Center for more information.