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by Brad Aubin
For the first time in over a decade, Dreamcoat Fantasy Theatre will be presenting Beauty and the Beast on the Capitol Centre stage in North Bay. The play features 101 children from Grades 3-8, including local talent Adrien Paquette, Chanelle Mayer, Adelle Goulais, Jayden Mcinnis and Julianna Sgromo. The play is also vocally directed by West Nipissing’s own Nicole Glover, who knows the play like the back of her hand, considering she was the lead ‘Belle’ in Dreamcoat’s last showing of Beauty & The Beast in 2005.
“They’ve been rehearsing non-stop and did an amazing job for their school presentations that took place on Jan. 22, 23 and 24,” raves Glover. “And they’re anxious to do it for the public on Jan 25 and 26 as well!”
Glover says that the school presentations give a chance for all of the children’s classmates to see what they’ve been practicing for since September.
“They’re really excited for the public showings too and being able to perform in front of their parents. It’s quite amazing having such a huge cast – 101 children – as well as a full orchestral band (many who’ve performed with the North Bay Symphony) that are just amazing. There are so many people involved in this production. We have many volunteers and parents behind the scenes too from helping out backstage, transitioning from scene to scene, helping out with the dressing room... I mean it’s just a huge production for a kids show! The children are doing amazing!”
Glover shares that many participants had never performed on a big stage before. “Some of them hadn’t event been on the stage. So it was really cool, from my point of view, to sit back and see the excitement and those jitters just before the curtain rises. To be backstage, settling them down a bit, and encouraging them. (…) There is great camaraderie backstage. It’s honestly a fantastic gang of kids. They’re all extremely polite. It’s neat to be behind the panel, see them all audition, and where they are at now. I keep hearing how everyone’s proud of the West Nipissing kids... it’s so nice to hear that about all our homegrown talent!”
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