Showstoppers Academy is putting on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. (Special to The News)

Showstoppers Academy is putting on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR. (Special to The News)

Showstoppers back with Beauty and the Beast in Maple Ridge

Academy almost closed their doors in December

The classic tale of a hideous beast learning to love again is coming to the ACT Arts Centre in Maple Ridge.

Showstoppers Academy is putting on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR, an adaptation of the original Broadway production that tells the story of how a prince learns to be compassionate to humankind after he is turned into an ugly beast by an enchantress who is initially denied help by the handsome young man.

Belle, a smart young woman from a local village who discovers her father has been taken captive by the beast, offers herself instead at the castle gate. Her wish is granted. But the beast realizes this is his chance to break the curse as he learns once more what it is to love and be loved by somebody else.

This performance is somewhat of a come-back for the studio that almost had to close its doors in December 2021 specifically due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s been a challenging couple of years,” said studio manager Sam Judd.

She explained how the academy adapted to COVID in so many ways with smaller classes, masked singing, distanced dancing, and by live streaming shows. But it just wasn’t enough.

They were facing the bleak decision of closing their doors when Chad and Erin Machette, who own Lindbjerg Academy in Coquitlam, bought the academy this past January.

“They kept all the teachers, and found temporary rehearsal space in Port Coquitlam, until they could secure a permanent location in Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows,” said Judd.

Since then the studio has been madly registering students, holding auditions, rehearsing, building sets, and preparing costumes.

The children, Judd said, are excited to perform in front of a live audience.

“Some of these kids joined Showstoppers during the pandemic and have never performed on stage, while others have been waiting 24 long months to step into the limelight again,” noted Judd.

READ ALSO: The ACT Arts Centre receives thousands in provincial funding for pandemic recovery

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The production will feature all the musical’s favourite characters including: Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, and Gaston – and popular songs like Be Our Guest and A Tale As Old As Time.

Showstoppers Academy’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast JR runs May 13 and 14 at 7 p.m. at the ACT Arts Centre, 11944 Haney Place, in Maple Ridge.

All tickets are $28 each.

Masks are no longer required at the ACT Arts Centre, but recommended for visitors 5 years and up.

All ACT staff, volunteers, and show crews will be masked while working in the facility.

To purchase tickets go to theactmapleridge.org/beauty-and-the-beast-seniors or call 604-476-2787.

For more information about Showstoppers Academy email info@showstoppersacademy.com.


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