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Disney magic to hit the stage
Belleview Elementary musical begins Tuesday
A magical musical with plenty of color, dance and song is what can be expected when the Belleview Elementary performing arts class hits the Frank “Buck” Shaffer Theatre stage Tuesday.
“Into the Castle” includes favorite Disney and other recognizable songs, including Rapunzel’s “When will my Life Begin,” Snow White’s “Whistle While You Work” and “Heigh Ho,” Aladdin’s “You Never had a Friend Like Me” and “A Whole New World,” Disney Cinderella’s “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes,” as well as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderellas’ “In My Own Little Corner,” and Toy Story’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”
The magic and songs go on and on.
The play — with a cast of 40 students — is a tribute to Mary Jane Hatcher, a retiring teacher with 39 years of teaching at West Putnam, Vandalia, Roche and Belleview schools.
“We’re honoring my fourth-grade teacher, Mrs. Hatcher,” said Natalia Quinones. “She’s one of my favorite teachers. She was strict, but nice, and taught me a lot.”
Written by class instructor Mary Shaw, who is also the 2012 recipient of the prestigious California Music Education Association Maynard Moreland Classroom Teacher Award, the play has numerous Disney characters singing, dancing and reciting poems.
With an introduction by Quinones and a poem by Anna Anaya, the play opens to reveal a Mrs. Hatcher and sons, played by Mariray Sanchez, Alexander Martin and Ernesto Cota on stage.
One by one, Disney princesses and other characters, including Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts, Aladdin, Jasmine and Toy Story’s Jesse, present gifts that range from imagination, originality, caring, love of reading, hospitality, magic, adventure and friendship — traits needed by a teacher — to Mrs. Hatcher.
The magic does not stop — a solo tap dance is presented by Raul Garnica, a vocal duet by CeCe Pierce and Grace Garcia, and vocal solos by Claudia Orosco, Rebecca Keele, Creeanna Gilmer, Kiersten Hall, Mariray Sanchez, Anaya and Jasmine Martin. Ballet solos are performed by Quinones and Bailey Fisher; and poems recited by Anaya, Rebecca Keele, Briar Tillery, Katelynn Roberts, Alex Guillermo, Samantha Rainey, Natalia Sanchez, Jordan Church and Kiersten Hall.
“We have a lot of princesses in the show. There’s a singing Cinderella and a dancing Cinderella. I wanted to give as many of them a chance to dress up and be a princess,” Shaw said.
Quinones, a third-year play participant who also takes dance lessons, is one of the dancing Snow White characters.
“It has been fun doing it,” she said. “I love it.”
It was a sentiment 11-year-old Julia Hurtado — a hip-hop dancer in the show — also had.
“This will be my first time performing for Belleview. I’m really excited and looking forward to it,” she said.
Her younger brother, Evan Sanchez, 8, is playing one of the mice in the play.
“This has made them real responsible. They interact with other children. They love it. They are ready to start,” said their mother Andrea Sanchez. “They’ve also given up all their Saturdays. They’ve missed birthday parties to be here practicing, but they love it.”
“Into the Castle” has several scheduled performances, including a 9:15 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Tuesday. The evening show is open to the public. Tickets for the auditorium performances cost $2 for adults and $1 for children.
The cast will also perform April 5 and 6 at the Porterville Barn Theatre.
Tickets for the 10:30 a.m., April 5 show at the Barn Theatre are $5 for adults and $2 for children. The 9:15 a.m. show at the Barn is sold out.
The final performance for “Into the Castle” is slated for 7 p.m. April 6, also at The Barn Theatre, 42 S. Plano Street.
Contact Esther Avila at 784-5000, Ext. 1045. Follow her on Twitter @Avila_recorder.
Into the Castle public performances:
Tuesday — 7 p.m. at the Frank “Buck” Shaffer Theatre. Tickets, $2 adults, $1 for children
April 5 — 9:15 a.m. (sold out) and 10:30 a.m.
April 6 — 7 p.m. at the Barn Theatre. Tickets, $5 adults, $2 children.