Children’s Theatre puts new spin on old story with “Beauty IS a Beast”

DOVER — The Children’s Theatre Inc., is wrapping up this year’s season with “Beauty IS a Beast,” a twist on the classic fairy tale.

In the show, which opens Saturday at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover, the main character, Princess Beauty, is lovely on the outside, but she is cruel and spiteful on the inside.

The royal family ruled fairly over the kingdom of Callentine, and so, when Beauty was born, her fairy godmother makes her the most beautiful person in the world.

That was a big mistake.

Despite her pulchritude, Beauty is self-centered and spoiled. She mocks her sister, Honor, and throws stones at peasants.

One day, her fairy godmother has finally had enough. She sets out to teach Beauty a lesson.

After intermission, Beauty reappears on the stage in rags rather than a ball gown. No longer beautiful, the princess learns what it’s like to be a peasant herself.

“I’m loving it so much. It’s so much fun — it’s a really cute show and it has a touching story,” said Cameron Catalino, 14, who plays Beauty.

“It’s been a really great honor to be the lead.”

Beauty eventually meets a strong, handsome peasant named Nick. Although he doesn’t have much to his name, Nick takes Beauty in and he starts to fall for her.

“He decides to teach her to be a better person,” said Noah Mills, 14, who plays Nick. “It’s a good lesson, which is always good.

“There are a few comedy lines and I think that brightens the show up. I think that it’s put together really well and that people will just like the show.”

The play has always been a fan favorite.

For the theater company’s special 20th season, audience members determined the lineup, voting online — and among others, they chose “Beauty IS a Beast.”

“The whole idea of somebody being pretty on the outside but ugly on the inside is something anybody can relate to in this day and age,” said director Patricia Parsons-Beetschen.

“Children of all ages can get something from this play … The light bulb goes off, ‘Hey, maybe being nice is not such a bad idea.’”

“I think it’s bringing attention to the fact that you can change, you just need to be aware of how other people see you.

If you’re mean, you need to change.”

As a director, Ms. Beetschen said, she tries to bring out the best in the actors.

This year, she expanded the cast to include 49 children, from ages 8 to 18, and she’s added lines for children who have never spoken in a show.

“Beauty IS a Beast” features elaborate scenes, like a street fair, a market and a party at court, and fancy costumes, from feathered caps to lace-up dresses, all thanks to parent volunteers.

“Everyone’s come through and it’s come along very nicely,” Cameron said.

By the way, she has another reason to look forward to the show — Cameron is turning 15 on Saturday, just in time for her 15th performance.

Performances are Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m at the Schwartz Center for the Arts, 226 S. State St., Dover.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children.

For more information or to reserve tickets, call the box office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 678-5152 or visit


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