By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Saint Patrick Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge isn’t a place where you’ll find wild beasts. But for one weekend, a beast in the school brought out the romantic in everyone.
Members of the St. Patrick Drama Club told a junior version of Disney’s enchanted tale of “Beauty and the Beast” in their school auditorium, entertaining capacity crowds on April 4, 5 and 6. Directed by Narrows Community Theater Treasurer Susan Huizinga, the show featured more than 40 talented students acting, singing and dancing in colorful costumes.
"Beauty and the Beast Jr." starred eighth-grader Caitlyn Schmidt, who played Belle. The Beast/Prince was portrayed by eighth-grader Gabriel Buzack.
Featuring such classic songs as “Be Our Guest,” “Human Again” and, of course, “Beauty and the Beast,” the performance drew plenty of cheers from the crowd of parents, teachers and residents.
The timeless tale of love and acceptance depicts the beautiful Belle as a social outcast in her small town who learns to love the hideous Beast who imprisons her elderly father for trespassing. Pure of heart, she trades her own freedom for that of her father and agrees to take his place as a prisoner inside the castle where the “Beast” is keeping him prisoner. Little does Belle know that the Beast is really a handsome Prince who is under a spell, disfiguring him until he is able to feel true love.
The spell creates a magical world inside the castle, as other humans have been transformed into various household objects, most notably a candlestick named Lumiere (Alexa Bobko, Grade 8), a clock named Cogsworth (Molly Finn, Grade 5) and a teapot named Mrs. Potts (Kristina Zloklikovits, Grade 8). The spirited group of objects bands together to help Belle and the Beast fall in love so that the spell can be broken and they can all be restored to their normal selves.
Saint Patrick Catholic Academy Principal Andrea D’Emic served as producer for the performance and expressed her thanks to Huizinga and Ann Gubiotti of Narrows Community Theater as well as all the parents and teachers who volunteered to help stage the show.
Huizinga said she was thrilled to be a part of the St. Patrick Drama Club’s production and proudly reported that membership in the club had already increased from 16 members last year to more than 40 this year.