After three and a half years of many successful plays and dramas at the venue, J. C. Smith, creator and director of Closed Door Entertainment, said he’s very excited about the event, but the last curtain call will also be very bittersweet.
“I’ve devoted almost four years to The Colonnade,” said Smith. “But it’s time to move on. We have to move to a larger venue where we have bigger wing space for bigger productions. We just need more room. We’re up to 40 members in our orchestra now and the pit at The Colonnade will only seat about 22 comfortably, so it’s a good prob-lem to have, but it’ll still be a little sad.”
Smith said he chose “Beauty and the Beast” because he has always loved the show and the music. There will be plenty of well-recognized songs during the production for the audience to enjoy, but also some original ones that never made it to the big screen. Smith also said he’s looking forward to “Beast” because he enjoys the response of the children.
“It’s a great name and I knew it would be a great draw,” said Smith. “It would be a great Christmas present for any kid. I love to come out and see all the little kids dressed up as the characters. That makes it all worthwhile.”
Taken from a timeless French fairy tale, the story centers on a prince who is transformed into a beast and a young woman named Belle whom he imprisons in his castle. To become a prince again, the Beast must love Belle and win her love in return, or he will remain a Beast forever.
The Closed Door Entertainment production is based on the classic Walt Disney feature animation produced in 1991, a musical film directed by Kirk Wise and Gary Trousdale, with a screenplay by Linda Woolverton and songs by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. “Beast” won Academy Awards for “Best Song” and “Best Original Score,” in addition to becoming the first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Picture.” “Beast” was also one of only two animated films included in the American film industry’s “100 Years... 100 Passions” list, which announced the 100 greatest love stories of all time and is now considered one of the Walt Disney Company's classic animated films.
For more information on J.C. Smith and his Closed Door Entertainment troupe, go to cdoorent.com. Smith said they have four productions in the works for 2012 at The Tivoli in Chattanooga and one production touring in the southeast area. There will be open auditions for anyone interested in joining the troupe on Dec. 12, 13 and 14.
“We have a great year ahead of us,” said Smith, “but we really appreciate our patrons at The Colonnade. We’re hoping they’ll come out and support us at ‘Beast,’ but also follow us over to the Tivoli in the future.”