This year, a significant amount of students signed up for the freshman musical, Beauty and the Beast.
“We had about 50 kids that signed up and our cap is 25, so twice as many kids signed up,” Jay Jaski, co-director of the freshman musical, said.
Although the directors are pleased with the increased interest in the musical, they also had to make more cuts than in previous years.
“This year we were fortunate enough to have had too many applicants for the class that it had to be cut nearly in half. It makes it really difficult. But unfortunately, there was no way around it,” Zachary Krieger, co-director of the freshman musical, said.
While the directors made some casting decisions based on the applicants’ previous musical experience, they also included students with little to no musical background.
“[The students] listed what their experience was coming in and a number of kids don’t really have any experience, which is a great part of freshman musical that I would never want to lose. It is a great chance for kids who have not done this all throughout middle school to get a chance to do a show on the Peddie stage,” Jaski said.
The cast includes Femia Tonelli as Belle, Alan Wang as Beast, Victor Cappuzzo as Maurice, Dan Funderbirk as Gaston, Will Pakenas as LeFou, Zach Steinhauser as Lumiere, Mia Pangasman as Cogsworth, Charlotte Heacock as Mrs. Potts, Becky Harris as Babette, Isabella LaGrego as Madame Bouche, Evan Corn as Chip, and Tim DeGray, Amy Zhang, Adam Eldessouky, David Harris, Sam Johnson, Jess Scopellite, Matt Stefanowicz, Nicole Zwennes, Sophie McClellan, Sarah DiLuzio, Anjali Singh, Emma Morin, and Mariah Johnson as the chorus.
The directors are excited by the wide range of musical talents that this year’s freshmen display.
“The high skill level of the performers is undoubtedly a blessing. The caliber of performers that we have is high – a high level of musicianship and artistry,” Krieger said.
“It is a very talented group in dancing, singing and acting,” Jaski said.
The freshman will perform Beauty and the Beast on Friday, Nov. 13.
“It is going to be a spooky production!” Krieger said. “The Peddie community is in for a real treat.”