‘Beauty and the Beast’ to be played at GJHS

Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Michaela Sessum didn’t plan to audition for the role of Belle in The Theatre Project’s upcoming rendition of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” but then her 6-year-old daughter Carter got wind of the upcoming show and strongly encouraged her mother to get that role.

“This was a huge deal to her,” Sessum said, emphasizing the word “huge.”

So Sessum, who has performed a number of local shows dating back to the days of The Cabaret Dinner Theatre, was cast as Belle and local actor Chris McKim will play the Beast in the shows to be presented by The Theatre Project at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Grand Junction High School auditorium.

More than 50 actors of all ages from across the Grand Valley comprise the rest of the cast for the Broadway musical adaptation of the iconic Disney movie.

The show is rated G and is appropriate for the whole family, McKim said.

For McKim, “Beauty and the Beast” is a family affair. His wife Heather and son Cailan also have parts in the show, which will be the first time the three have performed together on stage.

Sessum’s daughter Carter also has a role in the musical as a dancing utensil.

For the past month, the music of “Beauty and the Best” has filled both households as the families prepare their lines and voices.

“This is one of those (times) where people know this show,” McKim said. “Everybody knows Disney.”

Tickets to “Beauty and the Beast” are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.

Proceeds from the show will go to the Youth Theater Project, a tuition-free theater and dance program offered through Creative Avenues for all youth in the Grand Valley.


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