STAMFORD, Conn. – Students from the Rogers Upper School presented their spring musical, “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Thursday through Saturday to a sell-out crowds at The Leslie Padilla Performing Arts Center at Rogers International School in Stamford.
The performances were led by director/choreographer Josue Jasmin and musical director Josh Sette. Jasmin selected “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” as this year’s musical because it promotes the messages of empathy and acceptance.
“People are often too quick to judge. They don’t take the time to get to know a person on the inside. The experience that Belle and the Beast share helps us understand the importance of looking past someone’s exterior to what really counts," Jasmin said. "This show was a must see not only for its message, but audiences were amazed by how the talented students at Rogers brought this Disney classic to life on stage with jaw-dropping costumes and eye-popping sets and props, all accompanied by inspiring live music.”
The musical tells the story of Belle and her misunderstood abductor, the Beast. Unbeknownst to Belle, the Beast is actually a prince trapped under a horrid spell. In order to return to his natural form, the Beast must learn the true meaning of love and have his love returned by another. With the aid of his bewitched staff, including a nurturing teapot and charismatic candelabra, Belle and the Beast discover beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder and that love conquers all.
“Beauty and the Beast Jr.” featured songs from the Academy Award-winning film score, as well as from the Broadway musical, including “Be Our Guest” and “Belle.” Ninety-eight students were selected to perform in one of two casts.
As has been the tradition, the opening-night performance of the show was dedicated to Leslie Padilla, whom the Rogers auditorium was named after her battle with pancreatic cancer. Padilla was one of the original founders of the Performing Arts Program at Rogers and remains an inspiration to the Rogers community.