Beauty and the Beast This Week at AHS

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Beauty and the Beast?

Perhaps it’s little Chip or the magical rose; the lonely, disgruntled beast or the well-known songs you’ve loved for years?

(Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour!)

Whatever comes to mind, I’m confident you’ll be inspired when Allendale’s high school theater program offers their rendition of this beloved musical later this week.

Cherry Peterson, the show’s director, is in her 16th year of coaching our young thespians and is excited to see so many components of theater production coming together. With 31 high school students either on stage or in the orchestra, 2 middle school boys, and 11 elementary girls taking part, there is never a dull moment in the Fine Arts Center!

Practice for Beauty and the Beast began in mid-January and has continued through this week in preparation for three upcoming performances.

Justine Olson as Belle

Justine Olson, cast this spring as Belle, is a senior who dreams of one day acting in Los Angeles. With at least eight plays to her credit, she’ll start down the path toward that dream by moving to Chicago next year to attend either Columbia College Chicago or Roosevelt University. She gushed that her “really supportive parents” are cheering her on, wanting to see her fly.

When asked what makes APS theater so special, Justine didn’t hesitate: “The best part of being involved in theater here is working with amazing directors in an amazing building. It’s also led to some great friendships! It’s special.”

Her co-star, senior Jake Lenkiewicz, has more than 17 productions to his credit and is playing Luminaire in this musical.  Jake will be just one of fifty students attending Compass College for Cinematic Arts in Grand Rapids next year. He, too, has his sights set on Hollywood and aspires to one day return to Allendale to help others pursue their own acting dreams.

Jake Lenkiewicz as Luminaire

“If I make it, I’d like to come back and help as many kids as I can that are living in a small town but have BIG dreams. They deserve to be able to do something! I’d love to build an Allendale Civic Theater so they could have their own space as nice as the Ceglarek FAC. I started in the civic theater and I’d like to give back.”

These are just two of the terrific students helping to make our spring musical really wonderful. I hope you’ll consider coming out to see the magic unfold!


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday

(March 22, 23, 24 )


Click HERE for ticket prices

Categories: Fine Arts, High School Musicals/Plays | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Beauty and the Beast This Week at AHS

  1. vicki gravelyn

    Jake and Justine, soooo proud of you two!!! I remember when you were 4th graders in my class back in 2004! Yikes, I am getting old:) LOL!! I will be in the audience saturday night with my family and look forward to cheering you both on!!! I look forward to your bright futures! Thank you for being such wonderful role models and setting the example while you have experienced all that APS has to offer. You rock!
    Mrs. Gravelyn

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