Simply spectacular

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Amazing!
How else can you describe the musical magic brought to life this week by the Aurora High School music department.
Three sell-out crowds for the Beauty & the Beast performances saw an amazing combination of musical talent, choreography and high energy, capping off weeks of hard work by a whole lot of folks who should be giving themselves a round of applause for a job well done.
Disney’s animated classic tells a timeless tale about looking for and finding the beauty within us all. This production echoed that sentiment, letting a talented group of young people shine on center stage with a performance they’ll cherish and remember for the rest of their lives, as they should!
I even spotted a few young girls dressed up in “Belle” attire in the audience, which made me smile, realizing they had found a bit of Disney magic right here in Aurora. That’s pretty incredible when you think about it.
Seriously, this year’s musical was something special. The music and the story had been memorized long ago by the cast and crew, as well as the audience, which made the quality of the performance all that much more meaningful for all. It’s an added challenge, in that sense, to perform songs that everyone knows by heart, and this group nailed it, time after time. The vocals from Beauty & the Beast were simply outstanding, especially the lead characters.
Aurora has been blessed for years to have such a strong music department, which we see year in and year out with quality performances from the marching band, Rhapsody and other ensembles. What’s so neat about the every-other-year musical is that it shines the spotlight on the entire music department.
There was a bit of a “Wow” factor with this production. The choreography and musical crescendo for “Be Our Guest,” for example, would have drawn a rousing response from a Lied Center crowd, just as it did a theater full of classmates, family and friends. Directors Jason Frew, Karrie Wiarda, Dan Sodomka and everyone involved with bringing this production to the stage can take a bow on the community’s behalf.
Thank you, AHS music department, for an enchanting evening of memorable music and first-rate entertainment.
Kurt Johnson

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