‘Beauty and the Beast’ comes to Marlboro stage


CHRIS KELLY staff Jay Giberson, as the Beast, and Lindsay Wood, as Beauty, rehearse a scene from the Marlboro Players' upcoming production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast," which will be presented at the Marlboro Middle School, Route 520. CHRIS KELLY staff Jay Giberson, as the Beast, and Lindsay Wood, as Beauty, rehearse a scene from the Marlboro Players’ upcoming production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast,” which will be presented at the Marlboro Middle School, Route 520. MARLBORO – A “tale as old as time” will be enchanting audiences young and old as the Marlboro Players bring the premiere of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” to Monmouth County.

The smash Broadway musical which is based on Disney’s 1991 animated feature film has recently been released for community theater production after its 13-year run on Broadway, according to a press release from the Marlboro Players.

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” will be performed at the Marlboro Middle School, Route 520 (between Gordons Corner and Wyncrest roads), Marlboro. The show will be performed at 8 p.m. Nov. 30, Dec. 7,8 and 14. There will also be matinee performances on Dec. 1, 2, 9, 15 and 16 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $18 for students and seniors. Tickets may be purchased at Cards For Less, Marlboro Plaza Shopping Center, Route 9 North, Marlboro, or at the door.

For more information on group rates call (732) 972-7217 or visit the Marlboro Players Internet Web site at www.marlboroplayers. com.

“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” became the sixth longest running musical in Broadway history and earned nine Tony awards including Best Musical. The show was written by Linda Woolverton with music by Alan Menken. Songs include “Be Our Guest” and “Home” by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.

For those unfamiliar with the fairy tale, the story focuses on a handsome prince with a cold heart who is transformed into a grotesque Beast by a magic spell. The spell also alters the castle staff, turning them into dancing and singing household objects including Mrs. Potts, the teapot, Chip, Mrs. Potts’ son who becomes a teacup, Cogsworth, the clock, and Lumiere, the candelabra. The only way to break the spell is for someone to fall in love with Beast.

In a nearby village, Belle is busy rebuffing the advances of an egotistical suitor Gaston, while taking care of her elderly father, Maurice. When Maurice is taken prisoner by the Beast, Belle offers herself in exchange for her father’s freedom.

Belle fears that she will be a prisoner for the rest of her life, but with help from the enchanted castle staff she opens her heart to the Beast, breaking the spell and ensuring a happy ending.

Playing the role of Beast is Jay Giberson, 24, of West Long Branch. Giberson started acting when he was a student at Shore Regional High School. This is his first show with the Marlboro Players.

Giberson said “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” was one of the first shows he saw on Broadway. The role of Beast is a dream part for the actor.

With a costume that he considers to be of Broadway caliber transforming him into the beast, Giberson said, “the feeling I got when I put it on was amazing.”

Also performing for the first time with the Marlboro Players is Lindsay Wood, 27, of New Brunswick, portraying Belle. The leading lady said Belle is one of many dream roles for her.

Chris Pica, 33, is playing the role of Gaston. Pica is enjoying his part as the villain, adding, “he’s playful and has a lot of good songs.” Pica has performed in previous productions staged by the Marlboro Players.

Technical director Patrick McGlone said the show has elaborate sets. He said it took about five weeks to plan the design of the sets and the crew has been working for the past five weeks to build them.

Mark Ilardi is directing the show, having previously directed the musicals “Peter Pan” and “Jekyll & Hyde” for the Marlboro Players. Ilardi said “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” is a bit more difficult to direct since it is based on a children’s story and must hold the attention of children and adults.

However, the director said this is quickly becoming one of his favorites.

“The harder the show the more I like it,” Ilardi said.

To make household objects come to life and to create a beast takes a lot of hard work in crafting costumes. Marlboro Players veteran costume designer Marilyn Dickholtz has been working on some of the most intricate costuming ever to be seen on the Marlboro Players stage.

The show’s executive producer, Barry Cooper, said of the costumes, “They are beautiful and elaborate.” Cooper said each costume is being crafted by hand.