Chicago Shakespeare Theater presents
DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
June 28–August 26, 2012
Acting Company and Creative Team Announced
Chicago—May 17, 2012—Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) announced today the acting company and creative team for Disney's Beauty and the Beast, the Theater's annual summer family musical, directed by Rachel Rockwell with Music Direction by Doug Peck, featuring Emily Rohm as the beautiful Belle and William Travis Taylor as the Prince turned into a Beast by an enchantress's spell. This Tony Award-winning musical is filled with lovable characters, beautiful sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers, including "Be Our Guest" and the beloved title song. Enchanting audiences of all generations worldwide, Disney's Beauty and the Beast casts its spell in Chicago Shakespeare's Courtyard Theater on Navy Pier June 28 to August 26, 2012. Tickets are $18–$25 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets,contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
Based on Disney's Academy Award-winning animated film and Tony Award-winning stage musical, this 75-minute production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast recounts the classic story of a clever beauty and her ferocious captor—a young prince trapped under an enchantress's spell, who must learn to love and be loved in order to break the curse. Featuring songs from the animated film's score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, and additional songs with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice, the book for Disney's Beauty and the Beast is by Linda Woolverton.
Celebrated Chicago music theater director Rachel Rockwell returns to Chicago Shakespeare to stage her third family musical, having directed CST-commissioned world premieres The Adventures of Pinocchio (2011) and The Emperor's New Clothes (2010). Most recently, Rockwell directed this season's acclaimed Short Shakespeare! The Taming of the Shrew (2012). Her work as a choreographer has been seen on CST's stages in productions including The Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo and Juliet and Measure for Measure. In addition to regional credits throughout the country, Rockwell's Chicago-area directing and choreography credits include Jeff Award-winning productions at The Marriott Theatre, Apple Tree Theatre, Noble Fools Theatricals and Drury Lane Oakbrook, where Rockwell garnered a Jeff Award for Best Director for Ragtime.
The acting company of Rockwell's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is filled with veteran Chicago actors including musical theater favorite Bernie Yvon as Lumiere, the debonair candelabra and valet to the Beast; Mary Ernster, as the warm-hearted teapot and cook of the Beast's castle, Mrs. Potts; David Lively as Cogsworth, the stuffy mantle clock and palace butler; Roger Mueller as Maurice, Belle's loving and eccentric father; and Sean Blake as Male Ensemble member.
Joining Emily Rohm as Belle and William Travis Taylor as the Beast in making their CST debuts are: John Bobbo as Chip, an enchanted teacup and Mrs. Potts' little boy; Jake Klinkhammer as Gaston, the egotistical villain determined to marry Belle; Joelle LaMarre as Madame de la Grande, a former opera diva transformed into a wardrobe; Emilie Lynn as Babette, the saucy feather-duster chambermaid and object of Lumiere's affection; Andrew Lupp as LeFou, Gaston's bumbling sidekick; Rebecca Pink, Maggie Portman and Laura Savage as the Silly Girls; and Liam Quealy as Male Ensemble.
The production team for Disney's Beauty and the Beast includes: Scenic Design by Scott Davis; Lighting Design by Philip Rosenberg; Costume Coordination by Theresa Hamm; Projection Design by Mike Tutaj; Sound Design by Garth Helm; Wigs and Make-up Design by Melissa Veal; and Properties Master, Chelsea Meyers.
Chicago Shakespeare Theater continues its successful collaboration with the Chicago Children's Museum (CCM) presenting the following series of programs featuring Disney's Beauty and the Beast:
- Disney's Beauty and the Beast cast members visit CCM's Great Hall for a short program followed by interactive Q & A between cast members and visiting children and families on Wednesday, July 11 at 2:00 p.m. and Thursday, July 12 at 6:00 p.m.
- CCM Staff and Volunteers offer free hands-on art activities in the Theater's lobbies between noon and 1:30 pm on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14, 2012.
Disney's Beauty and the Beast is recommended for ages 5 and up, and runs June 28 to August 26, 2012. Tickets are $18–$25 with special discounts available for groups of 10 or more. All patrons receive a 40% parking discount at Navy Pier garages. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact Chicago Shakespeare Theater's Box Office at 312.595.5600 or visit the Theater's website at www.chicagoshakes.com.
About the CST Family Series
Chicago Shakespeare Theater's CST Family Series presents a wide range of affordable programming especially for families. As part of CST's commitment to making theater and live performance accessible to all ages, offerings year-round include Short Shakespeare! adaptations of Shakespeare classics, summer musicals of imaginative children's tales and classical music concerts in collaboration with The Chicago Chamber Musicians. These programs reach more than 35,000 patrons each season—making Chicago Shakespeare one of the largest providers of family programming in Chicago. CST has also championed the creation of new family productions, commissioning and producing three world-premiere summer musicals to great acclaim: How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back?, about a group of students who bring a modern twist to Aesop's fables, The Emperor's New Clothes, based on Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale; and The Adventures of Pinocchio, based on Carlo Collodi's classic tale of a wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy.
About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Celebrating its 25th Anniversary this season, Chicago Shakespeare Theater (CST) is a leading international theater company, known for vibrant productions that reflect Shakespeare's genius for intricate storytelling, musicality of language and depth of feeling for the human condition.
Recipient of the 2008 Regional Theatre Tony Award, Chicago Shakespeare's work has been recognized internationally with three of London's prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and by the Chicago theater community with 62 Joseph Jefferson Awards for Artistic Excellence. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, CST is dedicated to producing extraordinary classic productions, new works and family fare; unlocking Shakespeare's work for educators and students; and serving as Chicago's cultural ambassador through its World's Stage Series.
At its permanent, state-of-the-art facility on Navy Pier, CST houses two intimate theater spaces: the 500-seat Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the 200-seat Carl and Marilynn Thoma Theater Upstairs at Chicago Shakespeare. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 500 performances, CST leads the community as the largest employer of Chicago actors and attracts nearly 200,000 audience members annually—including 40,000 students and teachers through its comprehensive education programs.