Starting next Thursday, April 19, the students of Alexander Galt Regional High School’s new Performing Arts Concentration program will be inviting the public to be their guests at a large-scale production of Beauty and The Beast. Meant to start the new program off with a bang, the Disney-based musical involves some 63 students who will sing and dance their audiences away to an enchanted castle in France. “It is 70 minutes long, and the number of lighting and sound cues is the same as for a three hour show,” said Adriana Lyons, the teacher who is serving as production manager for the performance, explaining that the larger scale performance was picked on order to show off a broad range of talents and possibilities for the students. “It’s quite the beast of a performance,” she added with a smile. The telling of the classic fairy tale taken on by the Galt students will be familiar to fans of the 1991 Disney adaptation of the story, as the script is drawn from that root rather than from the Broadway musical. According to Lyons, students auditioned for the spring production in September, with separate auditions taking place for acting and dance roles. Singing practices began before the winter holidays during lunch hours and after-school practices began in earnest in January, with different groups dividing up into spaces across the school to help cover the various aspects of each scene that need to be perfected. “The music and the costumes and the acting, they are each a show’s worth of work in themselves,” she said, explaining that she took on the role of “production manager” because there were too many tasks for one person to do on their own. In that vein, this performance of Beauty and the Beast is significant in that it marks the first time that Lyons has brought on a student director. See full story in the Friday, April 13th edition of The Record.