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Review: Student cast gels in 'Beauty and the Beast'

Belle "Hannah Kowalchyk" reads by the village well in Ellsworth High School's cast for "Beauty and the Beast" as the cast sings "Belle." Hannah Coyle / RiverTown Multimedia student reporter

ELLSWORTH — Be a guest at the Ellsworth High School production of "Beauty and the Beast" this November. A classic interpretation of the Disney film brings to life the story of an independent, young girl's journey to change the life of a beast.

The show kicks off with Gaston, played by Cedric Kosnopfal, and Lefou, played by Connor Price. These two create a goofy duo and are guaranteed to make you let out a little giggle.

Reed Oberg compels the audience with his interpretation of Maurice, Belle's father. He shows the audience his quirky personality and how much he unconditionally cares for Belle.

The characters of the house, including Lumiere (Lucas Flom), Cogsworth (Matthew Williams), Madame de la Grande Bouche (Shaelyn Olson), Mrs. Potts (Sophie Cole), Chip (Ginger Leonard), and Babette (Anna Olson), enhance the dusty old home of the Beast. They bring to life their characters in a delightful and captivating manner. Alongside the ensemble, their performance of the classic song "Be Our Guest" is fantastic and sure to make you want to sing along.

There is no denying the chemistry between the Beast and Belle. From the beginning their interactions are intensely intriguing.

Belle, played by Hannah Kowalchyk, sings elegantly through the ups and downs of her story. Through a love of reading and a feminist personality, Hannah has made a real connection with Belle.

The Beast, played by Chase Gilbertson, captivates you from the minute he walks on stage.

"I really dig deep to realize that, yeah this character is a little different than the way I normally act," he said.

Gilbertson brilliantly embodies the beast.

After months of working with the student actors and crew, Director Katie Fuchs had nothing but glowing things to say about the members of the show and the world they have created on stage.

"It's great to work with people who care so much about what they are doing," she said.

The show is super family-friendly and well worth the trip.

The show opened Nov. 2. Additional performances are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 and 2 p.m. Nov. 12 in the EHS Cafetorium.

Doors open 30 minutes before the show. Adults pay $8 and students $3. Buy tickets at Ellsworth High School or at the door.

For more information, go to www.ellsworthdrama.com.

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