Marian-Rice Players plan Disney musical

By: Mike Koury | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published February 23, 2016

 Clare Parks and Kyle Callaghan, with Matt Bonasso and Mark Woods in the back, work on their dance moves for their performance.

Clare Parks and Kyle Callaghan, with Matt Bonasso and Mark Woods in the back, work on their dance moves for their performance.

Photo provided by Christine Borrello

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BLOOMFIELD HILLS — The Marian-Rice Players will once again hit the stage this spring, bringing along some Disney magic with them.

Composed of students from Marian High School and Brother Rice High School, the Players will perform their stage adaptation of the fairy tale and Disney film “Beauty and the Beast.”

The musical opens at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 17,  and will be staged at 7 p.m. March 18-19 and at 2 p.m. March 20 at Marian High School, 7225 Lahser Road.

Leading the cast as Belle is senior Clare Parks, who’s been performing in plays and musicals since the fourth grade. Excited to hear the Players would be performing “Beauty and the Beast,” Parks hoped to be cast as her favorite Disney princess growing up.

“I was really hoping I would get this role, and I was thrilled that I did,” she said. “When I was a kid, I probably watched the movie 100 times.”

The production has been rehearsing since early January, working about five days a week and anywhere from two to four hours a day.

Though she’s been performing in plays and musicals since she was a child, Parks said she still gets some butterflies in her stomach when she’s onstage because she knows there will be a lot of people in the audience there to support her.

“With all these months of preparing, I’ll be ready,” she said.

One thing Parks said she’s been working on improving is her dancing, as she claims it’s not her strongest asset.

“As Belle, I do have to dance more than I’ve had in the past,” she said. “But (the cast is) being very supportive of me.”

Producer Christine Borrello said choosing “Beauty and the Beast” as this spring’s musical came down to what they felt would be most fun for the actors and how they could beat the previous year’s performance.

“Those are our big key things,” she said. “What would our audience love to see?”

Borrello said that from watching the rehearsals, she’s been amazed at how hard the cast has been working.

“We’ve got a great group of kids,” she said. “When they’re there, they’re on task.”

Parks said the cast is still hard at work getting everything ready for opening day, and they’ll be prepared for when that day comes.

“Once the lighting comes in, and the sound, even the orchestra, when all those aspects come together, everything will fall into place,” she said.

Tickets for the musical cost $15 for adults and $10 for students, children and seniors ages 65 and older. They can be purchased at marian-hs.org.

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