FEB 25-MAR 27, 2022

Tickets

$36 adult | $20 college | $15 youth

Travel to a French provincial town where you’ll meet smart and beautiful Belle, arrogant Gaston, a castle full of talking inanimate objects, and a Prince under a beastly spell.

Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature, the stage version includes all of the wonderful songs from the movie, along with new songs by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. The original Broadway production ran for over 13 years and was nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Cast

Belle: Kiley Berkery
Beast: Luke McFatrich
Maurice: Neil Kasanofsky
Gaston: Tanner Fults
Lefou: Brian Finnerty
Lumiere: Edwin Watson
Cogsworth: Bill Saro
Mrs. Potts: Lisa Figueroa
Chip: Connor Martens / Matthew Rowand
Madame De La Grande Bouche: Julie Buckler
Babette: Keely Karalis
Bookseller/Monsieur D’arque: Dennis Berkery
Young, older Prince: Zach Tudor
Silly Girls: Laura Swartzendruber, MacKenzie Walker, Shannon Maloney
Narrator: Kim Kollar

Male Ensemble: Austin Howeth (Beast Double), Dennis Berkery (understudy for Maurice/Cogsworth), Charles Page, Jamon Buie, Zach Tudor (male understudy: Beast/Gaston)

Female Ensemble: Alexia King (understudy for Belle), Allyson Robertson, Delaney Lockwood, Julie Buckler, Julie Kulin, Laura Swartzendruber, MacKenzie Walker, Shannon Maloney

Murray Chase

Murray Chase

Director

Murray Chase is the Producing Executive Director of Venice Theatre, a position he has held since 1995. He is an active participant — and former board member — of Florida Theatre Conference and Southeastern Theatre Conference.  He recently completed his term as President of the American Association of Community Theatre, and currently works with the organization as a member of the national Festival Commission. He has served as a frequent grant review panelist for both the Florida Arts Council and the Mississippi Arts Commission. Recently he represented the United States as a delegation member to the World Congress of the International Amateur Theatre Association. Under his leadership, Venice Theatre will host for the fourth time the aactWORLDFEST June 20-26, 2022. Chase is also a former chair of the CEC for Sarasota County Arts Council and a former president of Venice MainStreet.

Actor/Director Credits: Besides the daily aspects of his job here, directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Mary Poppins, Our Town and the award-winning productions of The Pillowman, The SchoolFor Wives, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Tartuffe and Fool For Love. He has also played a few roles on the VT stage, including Johnny in Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Stuart in the Award-winning Boom Town, and George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? all with wife Lori

Michelle Kasanofsky

Michelle Kasanofsky

Music Director

Michelle Kasanofsky has been playing piano for almost 56 years and is a professional musician as well as a music educator. Michelle received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and studied jazz piano there as well as classical at Boston University. She has a B.A. cum laude from Dowling College, a Master of Science in Music Education from C. W. Post Long Island University and an Education Leadership Specialist degree from Nova Southeastern University.

Michelle is originally from New York and spent most of her life on Long Island. While in New York she music directed many off-Broadway productions which included Always, Patsy Cline and has performed all over the world in Europe, Japan and Korea. Since moving down to Florida in 1998, Michelle has taught chorus, drama and dual enrollment music classes. In 2014, she was selected as Charlotte County’s Teacher of the Year. Since 2000 Michelle has performed and music directed at Venice Theatre. Her productions have included Hair, Mamma Mia, Cabaret, Toxic Avenger and Dreamgirls to name a few. She has also Music Directed at Sarasota Players, Manatee Players, Charlotte Players and the Dingbat Theatre Project.

Michelle has played for national touring companies at venues such as Barbara B Mann and Ruth Eckerd Hall for shows including A Chorus Line, Legally Blonde and West Side Story as well as accompanying artists such as Bernadette Peters and The Irish Tenors. In 2021 Michelle became the resident music director at Venice Theatre.

Brian F. Finnerty

Brian F. Finnerty

Choreographer

Brian F. Finnerty has directed, choreographed, and performed in many successful productions throughout Sarasota County but is always happy to be back where he started, here at VT! Brian was a competition dancer until the age of 17, where he shifted his love toward musical theatre. After attending Booker High’s VPA program and Point Park University’s Conservatory for Performing Arts, Brian has proceeded to direct and/or choreograph; YANK! A WWII Love Story, Silence: The Musical, Reefer Madness, SHOUT! The Mod Musical, All Shook Up, Hello, Dolly!, the area premiere of Head Over Heels, SHREK the Musical, and most recently, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and The SpongeBob Musical with Dingbat Theatre Project.

Brian has been seen onstage at Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, Arundel Barn Playhouse, and with Plump Sisters Productions. He works at The Players Centre & Studio as an instructor and Production Coordinator along with Dingbat Theatre Project, where he acts as the Associate Artistic Director and Social Media Manager.