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HHS presents 'Beauty and the Beast'

Chase Kloster as Gaston and Isaac Verdoorn as LeFou.1 / 3
The cast of Hudson High School’s “Beauty and the Beast” rehearses “Be Our Guest.” The production runs weekends Nov. 9-18. Rebecca Mariscal / RiverTown Multimedia2 / 3
Maggie Smith as Mrs. Potts, Daniel Volk as Lumiere and Jack Waller as Cogsworth. 3 / 3

Far off places, daring sword fights and a prince in disguise take the stage in the Hudson High School production of "Beauty and the Beast."

The classic story tells a tale as old as time of the selfish prince punished with a curse to live as a beast until he could learn to love, and be loved.

Director Andrew Haase said he appreciates the message the story tells, not just of not judging by appearance, but of how people can change each other.

"The message of how people change, how people grow, how they adapt to adversity," Haase said. "I think it's a great story that shows that message.

"And it's fun," he added.

About 50 students make up the cast, with help from the crew as well as parent volunteers.

"I don't think the community realizes how many parents help out with the show," Haase said.

Haase said the production has a talented cast. The production gives a chance to showcase their talents, through singing and dancing as well.

"It's a great show," he said.

"Beauty and the Beast" runs weekends Nov. 9-18, with performances at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are available online at hudsonraiders.org and are also sold two hours before each show.

Before you go, meet a few of the cast members:

Mackenzie Kroll - Belle

Mackenzie Kroll portrays Belle, the book-loving, adventurous heroine who finds her way to the Beast's castle.

Kroll said she enjoys bringing Belle to life with her curiosity and desire for adventure.

"Belle is such an interesting character to play because she's so different from everyone around her," Kroll said.

Beauty and the Beast is one of her favorite shows, and she was thrilled when she learned the school would be putting it on this year. Kroll worked hard all summer, practicing the music, in hopes that she could possibly play Belle.

"And I'm here now," she said.

Working together on the show feels like one big family between everyone that's involved, Kroll said.

"You're always welcome in the theater program," she said.

Luke Sames - The Beast

Luke Sames plays one of the titular characters, the Beast, who, along with the inhabitants of his castle, was placed under a curse for his selfish ways.

Sames said he likes the development of his character over the course of the production, as the Beast learns to care and love others, with the help of Belle.

The production of Beauty and the Beast is fun, Sames said, and he enjoys seeing how the production progresses in preparation of the premiere, from two weeks out to the night before.

"I like how it comes together so fast," he said.

Chase Kloster - Gaston

Chase Kloster plays Gaston, the well-loved man of the village who pursues Belle's affections, with little success.

Kloster said he enjoys playing a self-involved character with a big personality who is so different from himself.

"I get to be kind of not nice for a change, and that's interesting," Kloster said. "I get to yell, I get to be excited, I get to be really big and that's different from anything I've ever done before."

The show is one of his favorites. Kloster said he's excited for kids who have seen the recent live-action movie to now see their production.

"They'll be familiar with it and come see this, 'Hey these are high school kids, I want to be one of those kids one day,'" Kloster said.

This production has worked really hard together, Kloster said, and he loves being a part of the group.

"Doing something that I enjoy with people who enjoy it too," he said.

Isaac Verdoorn - LeFou

Isaac Verdoorn plays LeFou, Gaston's faithful but dim-witted sidekick.

Verdoorn enjoys the sillier nature of the sidekick character, who is not meant to be taken too seriously, or at all.

"It's really fun because I don't have to take anything seriously," he said. "I can pretty much do whatever I want and it's still in character."

Verdoorn said he enjoys seeing the different roles "Beauty and the Beast" offers, and seeing people do different things.

The production is about more than the cast, Verdoorn said. It takes many people doing many different things to create the one product.

"You get the whole backstage crew, you get the parents of everybody that are helping out, you get the people that are doing lights and sound," he said. "So you don't have to be just an actor to be a part."

Maggie Smith - Mrs. Potts

Maggie Smith plays Mrs. Potts, the warm-hearted, unofficial matriarch of the castle.

She enjoys the way Mrs. Potts welcomes everyone in and takes care of them.

"I really like Mrs. Potts' caring heart and how she's always willing to give help to everybody she meets and kind of be a mother to everybody even if they're not her own child," she said.

Through all the productions she's been part of, Smith said she enjoys how accepting the community of theater is.

"What I really like is how there's such a, just a giant community of all the people in the cast coming to make one beautiful product for all of the community to see," she said.

Daniel Volk - Lumiere

Daniel Volk plays the candelabra Lumiere, who eagerly welcomes Belle to the castle as their guest.

Volk said Lumiere is fun to play, with all his energy, and his feud with his friend Cogsworth.

"It's a lot of fun, the kind of, who's the master of the castle?" Volk said.

In the larger show Volk enjoys the variance of the storytelling, as it switches from the more down-to-earth scenes in the village like "Gaston," to the crazy magic of the castle, showcased in "Be Our Guest."

"It's a unique show," Volk said.

With all the shows he's been a part of, Volk values the community that theater builds.

"You spend so much time with these people, you get really close to them," he said.

Jack Walter - Cogsworth

Jack Walter plays Cogsworth, the tightly wound, by-the-book servant of the Beast.

Though his character isn't a fan of most people, Walter said he enjoys playing the eccentricity of the character.

"The energy my character has. Being just so uptight it's fun," Walter said.

Beauty and the Beast has characters that everyone can relate to in some aspect, Walter said.

Walter said he enjoys the unity of the high school's theater productions.

"All my best friends are people I've met through theater," Walter said. "Every show's a new experience and you always meet new people."

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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