IT MAY not be Broadway, but it’s the next best thing for excited Carinya Christian School students who are preparing for tonight’s opening of the musical, Beauty and the Beast.
The Capitol Theatre is playing host this week to the school’s production, which was 12 months in the making and involves up to 80 students across most years in everything from the orchestra, stage design and sound to makeup, lighting and leading roles.
Elizabeth Hutchison is in the lead role of Belle, having cut her teeth in the school’s Sound of Music production in 2007 and playing the title role in Annie in 2009.
She’s joined on stage by some other school musical veterans in Nicole Quigley, playing Potts, who was a main character in Pirates of Penzance in 2001 and Annie, and Jonathan Larkin, who plays Lumiere after a star turn as the Major General in Pirates of Penzance and, before that, Annie.
There was a full dress rehearsal at the Capitol yesterday and another rehearsal today before the students strut their stuff before hundreds of family members, fellow students, staff, friends and members of the community tonight.
Principal Grahame Smith described it as a “whole-school production” and said it had been a joy to watch the students bring their many gifts and abilities to the show over the past 12 months.
The school has staged a major musical every few years since 1998 and isn’t afraid to tackle the big Broadway blockbusters.
It began with The King and I in 1998, followed by My Fair Lady (2000), Joseph and His Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat (2003), The Sound of Music (2007), Annie (2009) and The Pirates of Penzance (2011).
Carinya is the only local school to stage its theatrical productions at the Capitol.
Mr Smith said it was wonderful for all the students – performers and those backstage – to have the experience of working in a theatre designed for large-scale, professional shows. There are three other shows after tonight’s opening: Friday at 7.30pm and Saturday at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.
Tickets can be purchased at the Capitol Theatre or online at its website.