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"Be Our Guest": NHP Memorial Presents "Beauty and The Beast"

By Rachel Jacob

After NHP’s last director Mr. Ferrar retired following last year’s musical "Mary Poppins," Mr. Scott returned to NHP to direct this year’s production of “Beauty and the Beast.” Many felt that the preparation for the musical was intense, with frequent rehearsals that extended until eight or nine o’clock at night. Cast members rehearsed over the course of February break to construct a cohesive and seamless quality to the performance. During the final week of rehearsals, otherwise known as “Tech Week,” the cast, pit band and stage crew stayed late to ensure the production would be flawless.

“The preparation for the musical was intensive. We had rehearsals the entire week which went usually till 8:30-9:00,” actor James White said. 

Source by Rachel Jacob

Seniors Bobby Kuskowski and Sarah Munson sing a duet in the final act of "Beauty and the Beast."

“Preparation was honestly kind of stressful, we’d have practices where we’d repeat the same song over and over and over again just to get it right,” flutist Janice Park said. “Especially when bringing everything together, like the pit, stage crew and performers together, it definitely made it a bit crazy. It’s a lot of work, but it really all pays off when we can finally perfect a song or scene.”

“As stage crew, we are only called on for the last two weeks, or in this case just for the last,” stage crew manager Emilin George said. “Therefore we have to compile all our work to be done into one week. We call this week before the show ‘tech week’ and it can be really difficult and nerve wracking to get through but in the end it’s totally worth it after the show.”

The team’s hard work paid off, as the musical was a success. From the intricate costumes of Lumière, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth to the facial prosthetics that give off the Beast’s bestial appearance, many students believed that the actors' portrayal of the characters were representative of the original movie.

“A highlight of the event that stood out to me was when the entire cast came together to perform the song ‘Be Our Guest.' The music from the pit was lively, along with the execution of the cast’s performance,” junior Lydia Jacob said.

“The performance went a lot better than I expected,” actor Isabella Siesto said. “We had such little time to put on this musical so a lot of us were very pessimistic about how it would turn out. But in the end it worked out and we put on a great show.”

The musical is a time where NHP Theater comes together by expressing stories in a unique and engaging way. However, it is also a bittersweet reminder that the end of the year is approaching and consequently, the departure of many senior performers. Given that many of them were members since seventh grade, saying goodbye to the club that helped them grow throughout high school was a hard task.

Source by Rachel Jacob

Sophomores Louis Masi and Jad Abukoush share many scenes together as LeFou and Gaston, respectively.

“It’s so sad to think about how after all these years being a part of the production, it’s finally coming to an end,” pianist Jaiden Thomas said. “Though, it is kind of nice the production this year is 'Beauty and the Beast' because I remember being in sixth grade and coming to NHP to watch the last 'Beauty and the Beast' production we had years ago.”

“As a senior, this show definitely feels very bittersweet as this is the last musical I will be participating in in high school,” stage crew co-president Varun Pillai said. “I know there may or may not be a play later on in the school year but until then, I'm very happy that this was among my last performances in stage crew.”

“In past years I would always work with people who had been older and were more experienced than me. But this year they were gone and I was the person who was left,” actor Robert Kuskowski said. “And now I’m in the position where I gotta take on the big responsibilities like being the big lead and helping the younger kids whenever I can. I’ve grown a lot since I joined here and I will continue to do so but saying goodbye will be pretty sad.”

“I remember being that seventh grader watching the senior roses and I could’ve never picture myself as Belle getting my rose by one of my really close friends,” actor Sarah Munson said. “It felt really cool but weird being the person people look up to and ask for autographs from. I’m so incredibly sad to leave and so proud of the entire cast and Mr. Scott!”


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