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"Beauty and the Beast' opens at high school

"Beauty and the Beast" opens at 7 p.m. today at the Willmar Senior High School. The production will run through Sunday, with 7 p.m. performances today through Saturday and matinee performances at 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. at the high school theater.

Tickets, $6 for adults and $3 for pre-K through grade 12, are available at Willmar Community and Education through Friday. They will also be available for one hour prior to each performance at the door.

The musical is based on the 1991 Disney film of the same name. It ran on Broadway for 5,464 performances between 1994 and 2007 and has become a very popular choice for high school productions.

Belle, played by Tessa Anderson, is an avid reader and lives with her father, Maurice, an eccentric inventor, played by Evan Armstrong. They are considered a little odd by the townspeople who note her unparalleled beauty. She has attracted the attention of Gaston, the local tavern owner and town hero, played by Nate Tusa, who admires her for her beauty and because she is the one girl he cannot have.

Her father sets off for an invention fair and becomes lost in the woods and finds his way to a mysterious castle and is held prisoner. Belle goes after him and ends up at the castle where her father is being held by a horrid beast, played by Ryan Freitas. The only way the beast can break the spell is to learn to love another and earn her love in return by the time the last petal falls from a rose. Belle trades places with her father and eventually falls in love with the beast to bring the musical to a happy ending.