Woodminster Summer Musicals
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Madame de la Grande Bouche (Jenny Matteucci shows her drawers to Belle (Jennifer Mitchell), Mrs. Potts (Dyan McBride*), and Chip (Madison Schlader). (*member of Actors Equity Association. Photo by Kathy Kahn.) Click on the photo above for a print resolution version. Visit the Beauty and the Beast page for more photos and information about the show.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press contact: Kathy Kahn, email@example.com, 510-418-8523
Theater contact: Harriet Schlader, firstname.lastname@example.org, 510-531-9597
Website: Woodminster Summer Musicals
What: Disney’s Beauty & the Beast based on the 1991 animated Disney film of the same name, and the classic French fairy tale
Presented by: Woodminster Summer Musicals by Producers Associates, Inc.
When: September 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 2017 (Fri & Sat 8 pm, Thu & Sun 7 pm)
Where: Woodminster Amphitheater, Joaquin Miller Park, Joaquin Miller Road at upper Sanborn Drive, Oakland
Tickets: 510-531-9597 or www.woodminster.com or at the box office before any performance
Woodminster Summer Musicals Concludes 51st Season With Disney’s Beauty & the Beast
Magical Family Favorite Puts 44 Actors and a Full Orchestra Onstage in the Oakland Hills
August 11, 2017, Oakland, CA -- Producers Associates announces that the 51st season of the Woodminster Summer Musicals concludes with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, performed September 1-10 at Woodminster Amphitheater in Oakland's Joaquin Miller Park, located on Joaquin Miller Road at upper Sanborn Drive in the Oakland hills. This lovable stage version of Beauty and the Beast was adapted from the 1991 Academy-Award winning animated Disney film, and was a steppingstone to 2017’s hit film starring Emma Watson as Belle.
Says director Joel Schlader, “There’s something extra-magical about having live human beings onstage transforming into inanimate objects. There have been a lot of retellings of this story, ranging from the old fairy tale to the animated movie to this year’s live action film. But this version, the big-cast stage version, is my favorite. There’s just something about having dozens of actors singing and dancing to “Be Our Guest” that brings a smile to everyone’s face. Bring the whole family to this one — kids, teens, grandma. Everyone is going to be enchanted.”
Tickets are available by phone, at 510-531-9597, online at www.woodminster.com, or in person at Woodminster Amphitheater 11-4 daily or at the box office before any performance. Performances are September 1 (opening), September 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10. Performances on Fridays and Saturdays (Sept 1, 2, 8, 9) are at 8 pm. Performances on Thursday and Sundays (Sept 3, 7, 10, “school nights”) are at 7 pm.
Tickets for summer musicals at Woodminster Amphitheater range from $31 to $64, with a $2 discount for seniors 62 and older. Since the founding of the theater in 1967, one of Producers Associates’ missions has been to make live theater affordable for families in the local community, and the organization offers many ticket discount programs with that in mind. They include:
• Kids Come Free (up to 16 yrs, 1 free with 1 paying adult, at the door the night of any performance)
• K75 (up to 16 yrs, about 75% off, 5 discounted kids with 1 paying adult, pre-sales okay, any performance)
• Millennials 17-30 (about half price, at the door any performance)
• Oakland residents (about half price, opening night of each show, which is September 1 for Beauty and the Beast.)
• Group rate 25+ (about half price, specific performances)
• Group rate 12+ (about 15% off, any performance)
For details about discount programs, check www.woodminster.com or call 510-531-9597.
The production will be directed by Joel Schlader, with choral direction by Carl Danielson, music direction by Michael Horsely, and choreography by Jody Jaron. Woodminster shows are performed with live orchestras, and musicians are members of Musicians Local No. 6.
The full cast, including both professional (AEA member) actors and talented community members, numbers 44. In this production, the role of the Beast will be played by Adam Maggio, and Belle by Jennifer Mitchell. Maggio and Mitchell previously charmed Woodminster audiences when they played opposite each other as Marius and Cosette in the 2014 production of Les Misérables. The role of the buffoon Gaston will be played by Will Springhorn, Jr. in his first show at Woodminster. HIs much abused sidekick Lefou is played by John Tichenor, who has performed at Woodminster many times, most recently as Leo Bloom in 2015’s The Producers. Another long-time Woodminster favorite, Carl Danielsen (most recently seen as Bert in Mary Poppins in 2015), plays the role of Lumiere. His sweetheart, Babette, is played by Ashley Cowl, who has performed for Woodminster in many shows, including as Audrey in 2013’s Little Shop of Horrors. Cogsworth, the clock, is portrayed by Dwight Mahabir, seen earlier this summer as Bill Austin in Mamma Mia. Mrs. Potts is played by Dyan McBride, Madame Thernardier in 2014’s Les Misérables.
Originally a classic French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of Belle, a smart and imaginative young woman, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. This stage version includes many familiar songs including Belle’s and Gaston’s musical themes, “Be Our Guest,” “Human Again,” and the title song, “Beauty and the Beast.”
Beauty and the Beast was the show that brought the Disney entertainment empire to Broadway, leading the way for so many other Broadway hits based on Disney movies including The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, etc. Even before the release of the animated film in 1991, Disney insiders were suggesting it might be a great vehicle for Broadway, and when the rave reviews from movie critics said the same, Disney management began to take the idea seriously. The project gained momentum quickly, opening in 1994 to mixed reviews from critics but enormous popularity among audiences, and ran for 13 years. Beauty and the Beast is considered to be Broadway’s first legitimate family show, and inspired a whole new generation of Broadway shows aimed at the family demographic.
Over the last 51 years, Producers Associates has presented 160 productions, entertaining about a million Woodminster Summer Musicals ticket holders. The shows have been performed by more than 5000 actors, over 20% of them members of Actors Equity Association, making the organization one of the Bay Area's most reliable employers of professional actors. The musicals have always been performed with live professional orchestras, which have included 23 different conductors and over 1800 members of Musicians Local #6. In addition, the organization has employed 26 professional set designers, 17 lighting designers, 25 costume designers, 6 sound technicians, 18 choreographers, 6 directors, and over 1,500 young backstage interns.
Woodminster Summer Musicals are performed under the stars at Woodminster Amphitheater, an open-air performance facility in Joaquin Miller Park high in the Oakland Hills. The park's spectacular views and serene woodsy environment made it the perfect setting for the amphitheater, cascades, reflecting pool, and paths that were originally built as a WPA project in 1939-40. For many East Bay families, it is a long-standing summer tradition to enjoy a picnic in the park and then see a musical at Woodminster. For more information about the 2017 season or the history of the organization, visit www.woodminster.com.
Kathy Kahn, Publicity & Marketing
Woodminster Summer Musicals
Producers Associates, Inc.