The Ralston Community Theatre is celebrating its 40th anniversary by presenting a celebrated Disney musical.

“Beauty and the Beast” starts Friday at the Ralston Performing Arts Centre inside Ralston High School. The elaborate musical is the story of Belle, a beautiful and bookish young woman who captures the heart of an erstwhile prince. He has been turned into a monster after he refused to help an enchantress who was posing as a feeble old woman. The prince was living a life of selfishness and debauchery, and the sorceress wanted to teach him a lesson. If the Beast can win Belle’s heart before a special rose loses all its petals, he will become human once again.

The musical is based on the highly popular Disney animated film, which was turned into a live-action film a couple years ago. Humans play objects such as a light fixture, silverware, a dresser and a teapot, wearing imaginative and beautiful costumes. And the music is as magical as you’d expect.

“We’re pulling out all the stops to make it a special production,” said Gene Hinkle, a spokesman for the theater.

It also marks the 200th career production for director Todd Uhrmacher, who teaches in the Ralston School District.

Chris Ebke is music director and Debbie Massey-Schneweis is choreographer.

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Betsie covers a little bit of everything for The World-Herald's Living section, including theater, religion and anything else that might need attention. Phone: 402-444-1267.

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