Tale As Old As Time: Seton’s Beauty and the Beast is a Success!


Shannon Hayes, Student Journalist

March 31st. The gym. The audience consists of family and friends, chatting amongst themselves as they wait for the play to start. Raffle baskets and concessions wait patiently in the hall for intermission. The performers aren’t nervous, they’ve done this already the night before and they’ll do it three more times before they’re done. The lights dim, the crowd slowly calms, and Jan DeAngelo, the music director, takes the stage to introduce the show.

Beauty and the Beast Jr. takes the classic Disney movie and brings it to the stage. Following the story of a selfish prince cursed to live as a monstrous beast and a bookish girl who “wants so much more than this provincial life”, the show weaves a truly wholesome tale about kindness, forgiveness, and acceptance.

The show itself was amazing, a well-balanced mix of comedy, suspense, and emotional moments that the cast wonderfully portrayed. In addition to the show, playgoers also enjoyed raffle baskets, wrote Candy-grams for some of their favorite actors, and bought snacks from concessions.

The cast list is as follows:

After his second performance, I got to talk with Cooper Guy, who played Lefou. “I really love just performing and being on stage in general, I think it’s just really fun to see the audience’s reaction,” he was beaming as he continued. “When they laugh when they’re meant to laugh and just get a good reaction out of them.”

The students had been getting ready for weeks, spending countless hours memorizing lines and rehearsing choreography, before spending rehearsals running through the show. Cooper explained that it wasn’t too much when asked about managing that with schoolwork. It’s been kinda difficult but I’ve been able to manage it. It’s definitely manageable. It’s just a little bit more on your plate that’s all.”

Asking around, audience members seemed to love the show. Mateo Horn, a freshman,  described it as so: “It was a really wholesome play to watch, it was a nice adaptation of the movie. There were some moments of the play where it was like ‘Hey, that’s from the movie, I know exactly where that’s from.'” Bernadetta Paolucci, a junior, shared a similar stance. “I grew up obsessed with Beauty and the Beast. Like it was unhealthy. So it’s just really nice seeing like how this play was made into something that I would approve of as a fan…It was really good.”

As for favorite part of the show… it was a clear winner:

“My favorite part was when they had the lights go down after the guy playing the Beast got stabbed,” Mateo told us after the show. “He was down and they had the smoke and all the lights and then his mask was off. That was really good, that was really smart how they did that. Because you can’t CGI in a play.”

Bernadetta said the same: “I liked when they had like the strip lights, and when the Beast went down and was human again. That was very nicely done. I liked the smoke, I liked the effects. It’s one of my favorite scenes in the movie…it’s just really nice. I didn’t really expect like the lights and the smoke and just how it was presented.”

This performance not only stayed true to the source material, but it was a shining example of how to make theater accessible to all. This show was one of Seton’s ASL interpreted shows. The Performing Arts department typically runs two ASL interpreted shows a year, where volunteers interpret the actors on stage and students learn how to sign some of their songs.

The tradition started roughly seven years ago, when Ann Redmore, a deaf student, expressed interest in joining the shows. Directors Shannon and Jan DeAngelo wanted to make sure she was included, and it let to an incredible change in how they presented theater.

“She’s brought a world of excitement and new knowledge to us. It’s been so awesome actually learning ASL, because I’ve learned a bit of it and the cast learns it so it’s good for the kids,” Mrs. DeAngelo told The Voice of the Saints.

For this show, the sign language interpreters were Lynette Shear, Eliza Moore, Marrielle Zuccolo, and Heather Shaffer. The ASL teacher was our own Mrs. Frate, and the student interpreter who volunteered was Hope Riale. Mrs. DeAngelo explained that the show couldn’t have gone on without any one of them.

“I’m very blessed to have the women that work with me. They are a well oiled machine, but it is an immense amount of work. You can’t truly understand how much work it is to watch those ladies do it. They’ve got so much to navigate, but we make it work.”

It truly was incredible to see, not only as the interpreters signed next to characters. My favorite part had to be watching the whole cast sign while singing the finale – it truly was a special moment.

“We just want no barriers in theater,” Mrs. DeAngelo stressed. “I think it’s really super important that theater has full access.”

Congrats again to the cast that led this amazing show! The Voice of the Saints is looking forward to the next one!