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Arts & Entertainment

A tale as old as time: Xaverian Dramatics to debut “Beauty and the Beast”

Be their guest.

The curtain will rise this weekend on Xaverian Dramatics’ rendition of the family-favorite Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast.”

Xaverian alum Rob Randazzo will serve as the show’s director and music director, joined by Jason Santel as the show’s assistant director and Emily Wessendarp as choreographer.

Dan Mace and John Hendrick will serve as stage crew director and assistant director, respectively, and Annie Ester is the show’s costume designer.

“This is my first time directing a show here at Xaverian so I’m honored to do that,” Randazzo said, adding that, though he is an alumni, Santel and Wessendarp are newcomers to the newly co-ed high school. “We’ve really welcomed them into the Xaverian family. It’s such a great thing to get to do all together.”

The greatness of the cast, he said, is just as exciting.

“They’re so incredibly talented,” he said.

All in all, there are about 52 students in the show, with an added orchestra of 20 and crew of 20 or so additional students.

“There are quite a lot of people involved, and a lot of teachers as well,” Randazzo said.

Of particular note, he said, is that this is only Xaverian’s second year with young women in attendance – something, he said, is also special when looking at the story of Belle and the Beast.

“This production aims to show the upcoming generation of young girls and boys what is possible at Xaverian and in the performing arts,” Randazzo said. “We are aiming to make ‘Beauty and the Beast’ the best show that Xaverian Dramatics has produced in its long history, and to further cement Xaverian High School’s status as the premier school in Brooklyn at which to study the performing arts.

“The show, of course, is a timeless metaphor for love and life itself,” he added.

Preceding the show’s grand finale, Randazzo said, will be “Brunch with Belle.” The brunch – which will serve as a meet-and-greet for youngsters and their parents – will take place at 12 p.m., prior to the show’s final run.

“We obviously want a lot of young people to come to this show and we know kids love ‘Beauty and the Beast,’” the director said, “so the cast and crew kind of thought to ourselves, we have the characters, we have the costumes, let’s do something special for the kids where they can really get engaged and get involved with the show.”

The tale as old as time is of particular relevance this day and age, Randazzo said.

“The moral of the story is that the production is all about community,” he said. “Our hope is that this show brings Bay Ridge closer together, and gets more young people excited about the performing arts.”

The show will open on Thursday, March 1 at 7 p.m. and continue on Friday, March 2 and Saturday, March 3 at 8 p.m. There will be a special closing matinee performance on Sunday, March 4 at 2 p.m., shortly after “Brunch with Belle.”

Tickets can be purchased at

Xaverian is located at 7100 Shore Road.

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