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Vermilion HS to perform Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

Want to go?

• WHAT: Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”

• WHEN: 7 p.m. March 17-19

• WHERE: Vermilion High School, 1250 Sanford St., Vermilion

• COST: $9/adult, $7/student and senior

• INFO: 440-967-8550

Going out with a bang and a buck is what Vermilion High School Music Department Director Ted Williams has planned for his last show before retirement. The school presents Disney’s popular musical “Beauty and the Beast” March 17 through 19 at Vermilion High School.

“We never did ‘Beauty and the Beast’ before, so this year I decided to do it as a way of going out in fine fashion,” said Williams, who plans on retiring at the end of the school year. “I expect it to do well with the community, so that’ll leave a little bit of cash in the account for the next person. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a good seller. It’s a show the entire community knows, and it’s a good show to bring little kids to. They’ve all seen the animated movie. So it draws better than, say, ‘Anything Goes.’ It’s Disney and it’s a family show.”

An educator for the past 35 years, 32 of which were at Vermilion High School, Williams said his plan for “Beauty and the Beast” is simple, while the production is anything but easy.

“The hard thing about ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is all the costumes,” Williams said. “You have to do The Clock, Candlestick and The Beast. All that is difficult to costume. So that’s a challenge and then you have to transform the Beast into the Prince right at the end in front of everybody. It has to be this magic moment so that’s often a challenge. But beyond that, it’s just a fun show.”

Looking back at the last 15 years he’s been directing the Vermilion High School theater shows, Williams said he’s flooded with memories.

“Just some tremendous individuals I’ve had the privilege of working with, really talented kids,” Williams said. “And doing challenging things that are musically rewarding, as well as the fun of dealing with students. When you deal with kids, you’re always young. One year we did ‘Les Misérables,’ which is vocally very difficult. We did a pretty good job at that. They’re all challenging in different ways, the gospel number at the end of ‘How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,’ for instance. There’s a gospel song at the end of ‘Brotherhood of Man.’ If you don’t do that well, you shouldn’t do that show at all. I think we nailed it.”

Williams said he hopes parents, former students and his peers never forget just how important the music program is to the schools. As for the message behind “Beauty and the Beast”? “That you have to look past what a person obviously is and see into their heart,” said Williams. “I hope we’re all better people for seeing the moral made.”

Vermilion High School Music Department presents Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at 7 p.m. March 17, 18 and 19 at Vermilion High School. Advance ticket prices are $9 adults and $7 students/seniors. Tickets at the door are $10 adults and $8 for students/seniors. For more information, call 440-967-8550.

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