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Page 12 NEWFOUNDLAKELIFE.COM July 2023 Community
Franklin Footlight Theatre Will Hold Beauty and the Beast
  By: leslie sanDeRson
Attention Families, Disney lovers, and Broadway musical fans! Franklin Footlight Theatre will present Beauty and the Beast on the weekends of July 14 and 21 at the historic Franklin Opera House. (Show dates and times below.) Beauty and the Beast is the Footlight’s 29th summer mu- sical, and it’s going to be a thrill!
Beauty and the Beast, Dis- ney’s Academy Award-winning animated film and a Broadway hit, features wonderful Disney songs and new songs by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. Based on a French fairy tale, it’s the story of Prince Adam, cursed to spend his days as a hideous monster, who sets out to regain his humanity by earning young Belle’s love. If he can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed into his former self.
Fifty actors, singers, and dancers will perform in this be- loved musical. The versatile cast features three Ensembles with a vocal, acting, and dance focus. All cast members sing, dance, and act, but each ensemble group has a particular focus that drives their work in this production.
In addition to the Ensembles, the cast features David Bedard, as the Beast. A Franklin High School teacher, Bedard has appeared in Footlight’s Disaster, Something Rotten, and Elf. Olivia Martinson
is the whimsical Belle. Martinson recently performed in Footlight’s production of A Salute to Carol Burnett. Asher Clark will play the part of the flirtatious Lumiere. Clark was Nigel Bottom in last summer’s hit, Something Rotten. Danielle Keeler is cast as the ma- tronly Mrs. Potts. Keeler returns to Footlight after a 10-year hiatus. Gracie Bruckshaw will play Chip, and Prezley Adair is cast as Lefou.
Newcomers include Shayna Carp as Babette, Michael O'Brien as Gaston, Zac Desma- rais as Maurice, and Connor Butt as Cogsworth. The four come- dic Silly Girls will be played by Clarissa Martin, Madison Clark, Rachel Moline, and Hayley de- Sousa, all Opera House veterans.
Saige Granger will direct the production. A PSU graduate in Technical Theater, Granger has been involved with Footlight for many years. Christine Chiasson will provide music direction. Addison Granger, Cameron Moquin, and Jennifer Schaffner are the choreographers. Lori McGinley is creating the cos- tumes, and Robbie LaFlamme and Chris Schroeder are the set designers, The Props masters are Sue Bitetto and Lori Ingham, and Stage Managers are Mark Bitetto and Bonnie Gilbert.
Jule Finley established the Franklin Footlight Theatre as a nonprofit community group in 1995. A professional theater com-
Dave Bedard who plays Beast.
pany, FFT provides local students with opportunities to develop their talents and regional actors to perform. Many community fami- lies have been involved in building the group’s foundation and are helping to bring this enchanting musical to you.
If you haven’t yet been inside the Opera House, be ready for a treat. The Opera House contains an intimate theater that offers affordable, quality live perfor- mances year-round. Built in 1892 for town offices and a theater, it
Saige Granger The Director
was restored in 2000 and became home to Footlight.
The theatre seats 299 and has
floor seating and a balcony. The Opera House plans to undergo safety and structural improve- ments as part of Franklin’s eco- nomic development plan. The City is in the process of selecting an architectural firm to create plans and projected costs for the renovations. After August 5, the Opera House won’t have public events until renovations are com- plete - from 12 to 24 months.
The Opera House will con- tinue to run live programs in alternative locations, including Dueling Pianos on September 30 and Footlight’s production of Murder Mystery on Octo- ber 28-29 at the Elks Lodge. Music by Liz and Dan Faiella on November 11 and music by Randy Armstrong on January 13 will be at the Franklin Pub- lic Library.
Beauty and the Beast eve- ning shows are at 7:30 pm on Friday and Saturday nights, July 14 & 15, and Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, July 20, 21 & 22. There’s a matinee on Sunday, July 16 at 2 pm.
Tickets for reserved seats are on sale now at the Franklin Opera House website at www. Tickets
are $18, and $16 for seniors,
students, and children. The Franklin Opera House is at 316 Central Street in Franklin.
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