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Editorial: Kudos to a Great Community and Weekend of Beauty and the Beast

It is a great credit to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich school community in that they truly support the district through their fundraising efforts. Last weekend we had a great time at the 10th annual Taste of the Gold Coast gala. The event is run by the Oyster Bay High School Parent Teacher Student Association and is a marvelous evening out with friends. The gala supports the arts in the schools.

This coming weekend, March 19, 20 and 21, will be as great as the Disney musical classic, Beauty and the Beast comes to the Oyster Bay High School Performing Arts Center through the efforts of the Oyster Bay High School Fine and Performing Arts Department.

The show times are Friday, March 19 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, March 20 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 21, at 2 p.m.

The weekend kicks off with a special Dinner and Theater Package offer by the Friends of the Performing Arts Center (P.A.C.), before the performance. Enjoy a French-themed dinner in the OBHS cafeteria. Tickets for the dinner and the show are $30 for adults and $20 for students. Regular tickets are $10 for students and seniors; $12.50 for adults in advance and $15 for adults at the door.

Tickets are just a mouse click away on the district website:

The lead performers in Beauty and the Beast are Elizabeth Gurdus as Belle and Steve Wessel as Beast.

Elizabeth Gurdus, who plays Belle, is a freshman and is appearing in her second OBHS spring musical. Last year she played Jessie in Annie Get Your Gun. She has participated in shows in the musical theater program at USDAN Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. She would like to dedicate her performance to her whole tiny family, whom she thanks dearly for supporting her through thick and thin.

Steve Wessel, who plays Beast, is a senior and the role of the Beast marks his final performance in an OBHS musical production. Previously on the OBHS stage he played Frank Butler in Annie Get your Gun, Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Jack in Into the Woods and Tom in Tom Sawyer.

Off campus, he has performed at the CM Performing Arts Center, in Oakdale in numerous roles. He plans on attending college in the fall to continue his training as he has a “monstrous appetite” to become a Broadway musical theater actor!

A full “Playbill” is available for the show on their website. It lists all the characters in the play and the production staff, and shows a picture of the student performers with their stage credits. In full color, it is a treat and gives a great preview of the show.

The Oyster Bay-East Norwich School District is truly Internet savvy!