Beauty and the Beast Musical: What to Know


Elizabeth Berberian, Journalist


On Friday, November 4, it was revealed that this spring’s musical would be Beauty and the Beast Jr. This was exciting news for all students interested in performing in the musical. When asked for their initial reaction, Ro Hachadoorian stated, “I was really excited, but also surprised since LM just did Beauty and the Beast as their musical.” Ro, who is Lumiere in this year’s production of Beauty and the Beast, also stated, “I was really excited when I saw [the cast list] because Lumiere is my favorite character,” and, “A bunch of my friends are leads.” 

The leads this year are: 

Belle – Sadie Bohrer 

Beast – Gabe Newsome

Gaston – David Campbell

Lefou – Owen Shapiro 

Lefou Too – Jonas Berger

Lumiere – Ro Hachadoorian

Cogsworth – Adam Steinnagel Taylor 

Mrs. Potts – Sydney Newmuis

Chip – Eric Almonte

Babette – Ella Boonn

Madame de la Grande Bouche – Emil Brody Hyett 

Maurice – Oscar Garfield

There are 40 other participants in this production, which is musically directed by Ms. Lam, Ms. Pezick, and Ms. Babcock, and produced by Ms. Seymour. Our technical director is Mr. Leahy and Ms. Petrino is the set designer. With these incredible people working together, this year’s musical is sure to be great. Instead of having a musical track with the songs, we will be having a live pit orchestra! A couple of 8th grade students have the opportunity to showcase their talents alongside our wonderful cast members and ensemble. 

For our instrumentalists we have:

Synthesizer/Pianist -Timothy McDermott

Violin 1 – Tancey Li

Cello – Ethan Hsu

We have conducted an interview with Ms. Lam, here are her answers to the questions we 

believe will be most frequently asked.


Ro Hachadoorian: “Why did you choose Beauty and the Beast?”


Ms. Lam: “It is always difficult to join and lead a new community, but even more so when the community has been so well-established and beloved in the past. As a new director, I wanted to select a show that people would not only know, but also love. The music in Beauty and the Beast Jr. is so distinctive, and the characters so lively and likable. I thought it would be a great start to a new chapter for Valley TLC.”


R : “How do you feel about the addition of fifth graders?”


L:  “I previously directed shows that included students in grades 4-8, so working with 5th graders has not provided too many surprises. I do however think that having 5th grade in Valley TLC brings an exciting energy to the program as they have such unique perspectives to offer. For example, Chip is usually played by a younger actor. Having 5th grade allowed us to showcase new talent rather than have an older actor try to remember what it was like to be young and wowed by the world.”


R: “How did you deal with having so many people audition?”


L: “We had over 80 students audition for the musical – in a school of about 800 that’s around 10% of the entire student population! It is always exciting to have a large turnout – your directors spent quite a bit of time thinking about the logistics of auditioning so many people. We wanted to make sure everyone felt comfortable with the process and that things ran smoothly during the audition dates.”


R: “Were there any roles that you were really struggling to fill? If so, what role and how did you end up filling it?”


L: “ When most people think of middle school musicals, they typically think that the low voice roles are the most difficult to fill – and this is true… in other school communities. With such a large turnout, we had more than enough talent to put together the best possible cast – including a large group of low voices! Coming to Welsh Valley I knew that I wanted to grow the theater program, and I have also spent quite a bit of time all year encouraging students in my general music classes to audition.”


R: “ What number and/or scene are you most excited for?”


L: “ I am most excited to see Be Our Guest come to life on the stage! It is a high-energy number, with lots of moving parts and opportunities for singers, actors, and dancers to be showcased.”


R: “What do you expect to be the largest challenge with this process?”


L: “ I suspect the biggest challenge will be staying calm and focused during the long rehearsal process. Valley TLC is a thriving community and it is clear that everyone enjoys each other’s company! The challenge with having such strong relationships between cast members is staying focused on the task at hand 😊”


R: “ Who’s your favorite character in the show?”


L: “ Cogsworth – I find his mannerisms and quirks hilarious.”


R: “ What’s your favorite musical/play that you’ve done?”


L: “ My favorite show that I have directed is High School Musical Jr. My favorite show that I have performed in was a production of Beauty and the Beast Jr. when I had the opportunity to play the flute and piccolo parts in the pit orchestra.”


We are looking forward to seeing how the progress of the musical enhances, and updates will be provided periodically.