Beauty and the Beast Comes to Virden

Part II

In last week’s article, you met some of the memorable characters from Virden Collegiate’s (VCI’s) production of Beauty and the Beast. Let’s meet the rest of the principal characters and learn some of their thoughts about this much-loved show.

He’s handsome, he’s charming, he’s vain.  He’s Gaston, and he is being played by Oak Lake’s Dylan Gompf. Grade 12 student Dylan is making his first appearance in a VCI musical. Dylan is very serious about learning the ins and outs of his role. 

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“To create my version of Gaston, I’ve used a lot of method acting. Outside of the rehearsals, I would walk around as Gaston. I also looked at a mirror and would say my lines and watch my facial expressions and think, ‘Is that what Gaston’s face would like if he was delivering that line?’ and I’d continue until I would get it right.”

Garett Krieser, last seen as Pugsly in The Addams Family, plays Gaston’s bumbling-but-loyal sidekick Lefou. Garret told us, “I get to be super annoying and admiring.” He admits that the choreography and the harmonies have been big challenges for him.

In the roles of Cogsworth, the Grandfather Clock, and Lumière, the Candlestick, are Matthew Plaisier and Brycen Reimer. These young men will delight and amuse audiences with their banter. Matthew, from Oak Lake, enjoys the camaraderie of the cast and loves their inside jokes. He knows that audiences will feel inspired by this show. 

Brycen, as Lumière, says, “The accent took a lot of practice. I still continue to work on fine-tuning it so that I can get all the details nailed. It’s a long challenging process, but it’s extremely rewarding.”

Babette, the flirty feather duster, is being portrayed by Rachel Peters, and Kola’s Laura Archambault will play the armoire, Madame de la Grande Bouche. 

Rachel says, “ A lot of our cast is very new to the musical theatre world, and I have thoroughly enjoyed watching each person learn and develop their characters as we create relationships and memories.”  And Laura says, “I watched many opera singers on YouTube in order to get my character just right.” 

Joining the principal characters are Haylee Plaisier, Mei Thiessen and Hannah Wowk as the Silly Girls, Justin Padolina as the villainous M. D’Arque, Leif Wilson and Seth Bjornsson as the Cronies, Bertie Whiteman as the Bookseller, and Carlee Pearn as the Old Beggar Woman/Enchantress.

Portraying the wolves are Kaiden Jansen, Hope Mathison Lindsey, Makenna Henry, Ainsley Smith and Leif Wilson.

Once again, the dance numbers that have been created by professional choreographer Brenda Gorlick of Winnipeg, will amaze audiences and, as is the case with all of Michelle Chyzyk’s productions, costumes and makeup will be second-to-none.

The cast of Beauty and the Beast had several thoughts on why people should attend this production, but they definitely agree that it is a show for all ages. Ruth, Emily, Rachel, Kennedy, Laura and Garret would all like audiences to know that they would be supporting their hard work and their enjoyment of the arts. 

Matthew tells us that the story shows that “true love always wins.” Julian says the show “will be insane, and it’s better than watching TV!” And finally, Dylan tells us that, “above all, people need to be there to see Gaston!”

Performances of Beauty and the Beast are May 1 and 2 at 7:30 p.m., and May 4 and 5 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Eventbrite.ca website and at Flower Attic and Gifts in Virden.

© Virden Empire-Advance