With over 2,000 tickets reserved, the cadet musical, Beauty & The Beast, performed to sold-out crowds this spring.
“This show was very high-tech, unlike anything we’ve done before at the Academy,” said director, Abby Coats.
New this year, a projected set made the musical come to life with authentic scenery and effects straight from the animated classic. Professionally rented costumes and even a red rose wilted via WI-FI technology made Beauty & The Beast one of the most memorable cadet musicals.
“These touches really enhanced the production,” said Coats.
First Class Cadet (1/c) Turner Linafelter played the Beast and commented that this play was the best he’s done in his Academy career.
“When I put on the mask and wig I was able to transform myself into the Beast. One of my favorite additions was the projected set. It was amazing how we were able to enhance the performance with this new technology,” said Linafelter.
1/c Hannah Bliss, who played Belle, has done theater for years and affirmed that this musical was her favorite.
“Rehearsals were fantastic but adding the set and beautiful costumes for tech week and the show made it all come to life and really brought out the magic in the show. Watching from the side during ‘Be Our Guest’ brought me nearly to tears each night. Seeing our hard work transform into a magical experience was such a joy,” said Bliss.
1/c Billy Cunneen participated in the musical for the first time. He said it was one of the most fun and exciting activities he has ever been part of at the Academy.
“While the musical itself was magical, it was the cast that made it for me. I wish the audience got to attend rehearsals because they were probably more entertaining than the show! The cast was so talented and entertaining. Even when they messed up their lines or dances, we were bound to be amazed or laughing until our stomachs hurt,” said Cunneen.
Fans got the privilege to meet the cast after the show each night.
“Getting to meet all of the little girls and boys who came to the show was such a magical experience, getting to see their smiles and listen to their joyful giggles and give them all hugs is something I will always remember. The very first show I ever auditioned for when I was 11 years old was Beauty and the Beast and I was rejected, not even cast in the ensemble. Finishing my theatre career, 10 years later, as Belle is a memory I will treasure for the rest of my life. The impact this program has on the cast, crew, and community cannot be understated and has truly been one of the great highlights of my time at the Academy,” said Bliss.