Marc Buckhout/The Foothills Focus
Desert Foothills Theater will perform Beauty and the Beast beginning with a 7:30 p.m., May 18 debut on the main state of Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center. The run of the show includes six performances, concluding with a 2 p.m. matinee on May 27. The show is the final performance of the season for Desert Foothills Theater. To view more photos from Thursday’s rehearsal go to facebook.com/thefoothills.focus.
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Beauty and the Beast comes to Cactus Shadows

MARC BUCKHOUT ~ MANAGING EDITOR~ 5/9/2012

It’s a show that reminds viewers that beauty runs more than skin deep.
Desert Foothills Theater’s final show of the season, Beauty and the Beast, Jr., debuts at 7:30 p.m., May 18 on the main stage of Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center.
It’s the third time Edgar Torrens has directed the
show, but marks his directorial debut for Desert Foothills Theater.
“There are a lot of talented kids out here,” he said. “We could have easily cast three different people for each of the lead roles. I like the mix we have.”
Torrens has worked with both adult and youth casts and said he is enjoying working with the young, but talented group.
“They’re probably a little bit more willing to listen simply because it’s new to them,” he said.
While it’s a youthful cast, Devon Prokopek, a 16-year-old sophomore at Pinnacle High School, said Torrens isn’t directing it in such a manner.
“It won’t look like a kid’s show at all,” said Prokopek, who plays the lead role of Belle.
Prokopek, who has peformed in several shows, including most recently as Sally in Desert Foothills Theater’s You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, said the role of Belle is her favorite.
“Disney is my life,” she said. “To be a Disney princess, I just love playing this role. I like being such a sweet character.”
Jacob Emnet, a freshman at Cactus Shadows High School, is playing the role of the Beast.
“It’s a lot of fun to be in the role of a bad guy,” he said. “I’m usually a pretty cheery guy, but now I get to be a little vicious and yell a lot. I’m smiley most of the time so I wasn’t very good at yelling. I’ve worked on being lower and louder.”
The Beast takes Belle captive in his castle with hopes of wooing her.
Regardless of the age of the audience member Emnet said the show should be received well.
“I think it’s a good message for kids and most parents are familiar with the story,” he said. “We’ve got a good group of actors and we’re very well prepared.”
Joe Halverson, a 16-year-old junior at Pinnacle High School plays the role of Lumiere, the Beast’s maitre d who has been turned into a candle holder.
In order to lift the curse on both the Beast and himself Lumiere does his best to foster the relationship between Belle and the Princess. In order to break the spell the Beast must learn to love another and earn her love in return.
After playing Charlie Brown in his previous roll, Halverson admits his current character is drastically different.
“He’s fun and outgoing and he’s pretty much liked from the very beginning,” he said.
While Halverson said his character won’t be hard to play he is going to be challenged by the physical challenges of the part.
“My character is supposed to be smooth and suave, but as a character I’m a candle and have to be really stiff” he said. “My costume is also supposed to have an element I’ll be able to turn on to look like the candle is lit. I’m thinking the costume might be hot because of that.”
Along with the May 18 debut, the show will continue with 7:30 p.m. shows on May 19 along with, May 25 and May 26. Additionally there will be matinees at 2 p.m. on May 20 and May 27.
In addition to the Sunday shows Brunch with Belle will offer theater fans to have English Tea complete with finger sandwiches, teas, soft drinks and dessert. Tickets are $10 per person.
Cactus Shadows Fine Arts Center is located at 33606 N. 60th St. in North Scottsdale.
Tickets to the show range from $12 – 15 for children under 18 and from $16 – 20 for adults. For information or to purchase tickets go to desertfoothillstheater.com or call 480-488-1981.