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March 12, 2008

"Beauty and the Beast" to add Thursday performance

by Lucas Alvarado-Farrar, Online Features Editor
Coordinators of the spring musical "Beauty and the Beast" will add another performance at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow. The show is being added to satisfy customers, according to Stage Crew manager John Kaluta, as "Beauty and the Beast" sold out all of three shows opening weekend.
Mindy Or stars as Belle in the "Beauty and the Beast," which sold out the first three shows. Molly Brune
Mindy Or stars as Belle in the "Beauty and the Beast," which sold out the first three shows.

The additional show will be the fourth of six performances. Kaluta and O'Connor both reiterated that there will not be a seventh show and encouraged students to come Thursday. "We cannot add any more," Kaluta said. "We must close on Saturday."

Over 2,220 people attended the three shows this past weekend, according to financial records. "Beauty and the Beast" cost $5,000 to $6,000 to produce but has earned over $10,487 from ticket sales. The money earned from the performances at the 740-seat Blair theater is recycled back into the Montgomery Blair Players and used to pay off the hefty expenses of putting on a show, according to Kaluta. Expenses include immense royalties, such as hundreds in script fees, to Music Theater International, which owns the rights to "Beauty and the Beast."

In O'Connor's nine years with the Blair Players, there has never been an extra show. "In my tenure, we've never added shows," she said. According to O'Connor, online pre-sales and the sold out opening night led the administrative staff to begin considering the extra show.

Adding another show requires extensive work in directorial duties and acting, as well as additional funds. "[Co-Director] Kelly O'Connor and I asked [Principal Darryl] Williams. He okayed it and we called New York," said Kaluta. "A company called Music Theater International brokers the show, and every time we put on a performance we have to send in royalties."

The Montgomery Blair Players have decided that this extra work and cost are worth it. "The show has sold out every single seat so far, which wasn't even done during 'West Side Story,'" says co-director Kelly O'Connor. Kaluta agreed that satisfaction justifies the time and effort. "After selling out three consecutive days we thought the last two days would sell out, and we did not want any unhappy customers or community members," said Kaluta.

Though the costs can be high, both Kaluta and O'Connor emphasized the need to keep ticket prices low. "It's an important goodwill for the community to keep prices low; other schools shows can cost upwards of $20 for adult tickets," said O'Connor. Kaluta agreed, and said, "We realize many students cannot come or will not come if the price is higher."

Additional reporting done by Priyanka Gokhale.



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  • Jon Phoenix Brookstone on March 13, 2008 at 1:43 AM
    OMG This show was AMAZING!!!!!! Congrats on putting it on again!!!! YOU GUYS ROCK!!!! THANKS FOR MAKING MY SPRING BREAK MAGICAL!!!!
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