› What: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”
› Where: Chattanooga Theatre Centre, 400 River St.
› When: 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Dec. 8-9 and 15-16; 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 9-10 and 16-17; 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 14; 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 28-30
› Admission: $11-$30
› For more information: 423-267-8534
Chattanooga Theatre Centre will sprinkle some Disney magic over the holidays when it opens the musical extravaganza "Beauty and the Beast" on Friday, Dec. 8.
Back by popular demand after previous Theatre Centre productions in 2005 and 2009, this family-friendly musical is based on the Academy Award-winning animated film of 1991, incorporating many of its beloved musical numbers.
With a story as simple as a fairy tale and a production as spectacular as a Broadway show, the CTC's musical boasts a cast of 50, enchanting costumes, outstanding singers and surprising special effects.
In the title roles are CTC newcomer Jordan Otis as Belle and CTC favorite Scott Shaw as the Beast, last seen as Black Stache in "Peter and the Starcatcher." Otis is a great-granddaughter of O.D. McKee, founder of McKee Foods, maker of Little Debbie snacks.
Otis landed the lead female role on her first audition at the community theater. She holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, founded a vocal and instrumental music program at a California middle school and teaches private instruction in voice and violin.
She performed in numerous operas and musicals while living on the West Coast, but says playing Belle was always a role she coveted. In fact, she studied the role of Belle with her private teacher in California before a scheduling conflict prevented her from auditioning there.
She and her husband, Dr. Bryan Otis, are parents of a 6-month-old son. The couple moved back to Chattanooga 10 days after his birth. Both have family here.
Inspired by an 18th-century French fairy tale, "Beauty and the Beast" tells the story of Belle, a bright young woman who feels out of place in her provincial French village. When her father is imprisoned in a mysterious castle, Belle's attempt to rescue him leads to her capture by the Beast, a fearsome monster trapped in his gruesome form by an enchantress.
The only way for the Beast to become human again is to love and be loved in return. But there is a time limit: Once a magical rose loses all of its petals, all hope will be lost and he will stay a Beast forever.
The Beast's enchanted household — populated by beloved characters such as Mrs. Potts, Lumiere, Cogsworth and Chip — watch anxiously as Belle and the Beast befriend one another. Their feelings grow deeper as the clock ticks and petals continue to fall off the enchanted rose. Will the couple confess their love before it is too late?
Scott Dunlap, CTC Youth Theatre director, is directing this production with musical direction by Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Huseman, a resident of Signal Mountain. Christi Barr has choreographed the musical.
Performances are set for Dec. 8-10, 14-17 and 28-30. There will be no performances on Christmas weekend. Live captioning for the hearing-impaired will be included at the performance on Thursday, Dec. 17, at 7 p.m.
Tickets may be purchased at the CTC box office, 400 River St., Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., by calling 423-267-8534 or online at TheatreCentre.com.
Belle: Jordan Otis
Beast: Scott Shaw
Gaston: James Cunha
Mrs. Potts: Deb Meeks
Chip: Alex Champion and Charlie Clevenger
LeFou: Jared Cotton
Lumiere: Jason Russell
Maurice: Rodney Strong
Cogsworth: Jesse Wilyat
CORRECTION: Jordan Otis is a great-granddaughter of O.D. McKee, not a granddaughter as this story previously stated. Story updated Dec. 6, 2017, at 10:15 p.m.