Be AMSA’s guest to ‘Beauty and the Beast Jr.’

Staff Writer
Since 2013, I have primarily covered the Anoka-Hennepin and Spring Lake Park school districts as well as the city of Spring Lake Park for ABC Newspapers.

It’s a “tale as old as time” – actually, the French fairy tale dates back to the 1700s – but “Beauty and the Beast” has a new wave of admirers thanks to Disney’s live action film released in March.

Faith Allen plays Belle to Abdourahmame “Michael” Seye’s Beast in Anoka Middle School for the Arts’ upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Photo courtesy of Jefferson Fietek
Faith Allen plays Belle to Abdourahmame “Michael” Seye’s Beast in Anoka Middle School for the Arts’ upcoming production of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” Photo courtesy of Jefferson Fietek

Anoka Middle School for the Arts Theater Department Chairperson Jefferson Fietek had no idea “Beauty and the Beast” would top box office charts just weeks before the opening of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” at the middle school when he decided on the 2016-2017 theater season a year ago.

“It has been a fun surprise as so many people have ‘Beauty and the Beast’ fever,” Fietek said.

AMSA students invite the community to be their guests for the performance the last two weekends in April.

The production is based on Disney’s Broadway hit, adapted for young performers. The show has a shorter run time and characters’ vocal ranges have been adjusted.

The show is a love story between an unlikely pair: Belle and the Beast, who is actually a prince transformed by an enchantress. The Beast and all of his servants, living as animate objects in his castle, can be human again if the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return before time runs out.

Fietek directs the show. Also on the creative team are vocal director Kate Kulas, choreographer Jameson Pieper, set designer Matt Kari, costume designer Jones Liebow and lighting designer Ashley Stock.

Belle, a voracious reader, would be thrilled to learn AMSA thespians are asking audience members to bring new or gently used children’s books to donate locally to children in need.

The musical plays at 7:30 April 21, 22, 28 and 29 and 2 p.m. April 23 and 30. The show April 23 is an American Sign Language-interpreted performance.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students under 18 and $3 for kids 5 and under. They are available for purchase at www.amsatheater.org, by calling 866-967-8167 or at the door one hour before each performance.

The AMSA Fred Moore Campus is at 1523 Fifth Ave. S., Anoka.

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