A Look Behind the Curtain
This September, we are bringing Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: In Concert to the stage in a sweeping concert version, featuring a choir, orchestra, full cast, and the unique incorporation of other CFCArts members. We are working to create the largest, most inclusive production the region has ever seen, representing so much of the work that CFCArts does every year on a single stage.
We’re so excited to share this celebration of community and collaboration with you!
(Click here to read more of a show overview!)
Tale as Old as Time
It couldn’t be more fitting to have four members from the CFCArts Narrators share the role of “Narrator” together in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: In Concert.
The Narrators are an enthusiastic group of older adults (55+) with a desire and a mission to give back to the community by performing – and to have a lot of fun doing it! Their rehearsals each season feature vocal warm-ups, senior-friendly theatre games designed to get participants laughing and their imaginations active, and culminate in an often-comedic performance consisting of improv games, prepared monologues, and short scenes that suit each performer’s strengths.
Four regular Narrators members will be participating in Beauty & the Beast, including the Narrators Member Ambassador.
“Like UpBeat!, this will be the biggest stage the Narrators have been on. (Though, two of the four are also regulars in the Community Choir.)” shared Sara Breitfelder, the administrator for the School of Arts & Health. “The Narrators – and these ladies, in particular – are hilarious, and I am excited to see what they bring to the table with this show! I am so excited to see our School of Arts & Health programs on the big stage.”
The themes of Beauty & the Beast and the community-centric way in which we’re telling this beloved story speak so strongly to the goals of the Narrators.
Chris Hicks is a teaching artist with CFCArts, the show director for Narrators performances, and has performed on stage with other CFCArts programs .
“In our ageist society it can be tempting for older adults to feel invisible, but a desire to contribute to the community and to do what you love does not diminish with age,” Chris said. “We love the cross-generational communication that takes place when we interact with others of different ages; we can learn from them and find that they learn from us. Beauty & the Beast offers the perfect opportunity for that.”
Kaileigh Anne Tayek, director of the School of Arts & Health, has a heart for the programs and finding new opportunities for the members to celebrate their talents and friendships and to highlight their skills for our broader community. (We’re so excited for this fall, when the Narrators are taking their performance from the CFCArts Black Box Theater up to the Art & History Museums of Maitland in a show with original content inspired by the museum’s exhibits.)
“This opportunity with Beauty & the Beast is the first time the Narrators! talents with be seen as part of a CFCArts mainstage production,” Kaileigh Anne said. “While this is a milestone for the group, which began in 2016, these performers are not novices! I am thrilled to see them recognized for their talents and given the space to perform amongst such an elite cast of performers.”
Kaileigh Anne summed up the Narrators’ purpose both as a program and in Beauty & the Beast when she said, “The Narrators! remind us that age is just a number, you are as young as you feel, and you are never too old to explore and excel at a new skill.”
Chris Hicks and Maxwell Killi played a grandmother and grandson in the narrative surrounding the Community Choir’s show Once Upon a Dream in May 2023. Killi will also play Chip in Disney’s Beauty & the Beast: In Concert.
About the Show
Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s classic, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast: In Concert, an international sensation that has been produced in 37 countries worldwide. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the timeless songs written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, along with new songs by Mr. Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over thirteen years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. This concert version will bring you right into the magic!
The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed into his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.
September 7-8 at 7:30pm
Northland Church (522 Dogtrack Rd, Longwood)