Beauty and the Beast
San Lorenzo Valley High School Theater Department presents “Beauty and the Beast” from March 1-10 at the SLVHS Performing Arts Center. (Photo via Shutterstock)

The Theater Department at San Lorenzo Valley High School is bringing a Disney favorite to the stage in March, and they’re excited to have you be their guest as they roll out “Beauty and the Beast” at the SLVHS Performing Arts Center (PAC). 

Showing from Friday, March 1, through Sunday, March 10, the costume-rich and talent-laden production is sure to please Disney devotees and have the audience singing along.

While some high school productions are all about the messaging, this one is about showcasing the incredible flair that the students bring to the musical. From costumes that transport inanimate characters into living beings to vocals that will knock one’s socks off, the entire cast and crew are using their imaginations to ensure that the PAC stage is transformed into a perfect setting for the 1991 movie’s adaptation.

Lumière, played by junior Bradley Nowatzki, is the jaunty candlestick looking to spark Belle’s interest upon her arrival at the castle. Nowatzki, who auditioned with the part of Lumière in mind and has five other SLV productions under his belt, is thrilled to be part of this musical. 

“There are a lot of jokes around my being a candle, and they’re all pretty funny,” Nowatzki said.

Lumière enjoys entertaining others, so he’s responsible for inviting Belle over and welcoming her with the uplifting song, “Be Our Guest.” Nowatzki notes that his character has a lot of pizazz. 

“He’s flamboyant, expressive and energetic. He’s a big character to play, so I get to make the stage mine,” said Nowatzki, who has big shoes to fill; Jerry Orbach from “Law & Order” fame voiced the original role in the 1991 film.

Junior Juliette Mauerman is in her fifth production with SLVHS and is excited to play dual roles of a Dancing Napkin and a Silly Girl (Silly Girls were formerly referred to as Bimbettes, the triplets who fawn over lead man Gaston). 

“I was hoping to be cast as a Silly Girl because it’s an ensemble part, and I’m still a little shy about my singing,” Mauerman said.

Mostly, she’s excited to share the production with the public. 

“Seeing everything brought to life, including the lighting, costumes and set design, really brings home the magic of this musical. The emotions are deeper, and the funny moments are really enjoyable when they’re live and on stage,” Mauerman said.

Jaden Lopez, a junior, and Stella Pfefferkorn, a sophomore, are the costume designers for the musical, and the two of them are loving their work as they bring a teapot, a cup, a candlestick and a clock to life. 

“We’re given a budget, and then we have to set up our vision for what the costumes should look like. We have various meetings to finalize our plans, and then we start purchasing costumes or making them,” Lopez said. 

Pfefferkorn has some experience making costumes for other productions, and she enjoys the creative element of costuming. Her pride and joy of this musical, though, is Mrs. Potts’ costume.

“It was fun to figure out how to turn a human into a teapot,” said Pfefferkorn, who said that hoopskirts and petticoats were key to the transformation.

Lopez had fun making Chip’s costume, but is most proud of her work on Fifi, the black and white feather-duster-come-to-life in the Beast’s castle.

After starring in last spring’s musical “Legally Blonde” as Elle Woods, Mary Calden is back on stage in the role of Belle with pipes and a presence that is sure to draw accolades. 

“Playing Belle has made my childhood dream of being a Disney princess come true and I could not be more excited about this show,” Calden said. “Bringing to life such a classic story and character for my senior year production makes it even more special. I’ve participated in theater at SLV since sixth grade, so it is bittersweet to know that this is my last show here, but I am so grateful for the cast and crew that’s made this such an incredible experience and memorable final show.”

Director Daria Troxell chimed in on the beauty of this production.

“What makes this musical special is that there is a transformation of spirit for both Belle and Beast. They each experience unconditional love for the other. Belle learns to love Beast despite his outward appearance, and Beast learns to love Belle and is willing to let her go and spend his life doomed to be a beast,” Troxell explained. “What has made working on the musical special is the community involvement. We’ve had an incredible team of adult volunteers, who have dedicated hundreds of hours to make this show a reality. We are blessed to have their involvement. We are also lucky to have an amazing team of student designers in leadership positions for the lighting, costumes, hair and makeup, and props for the show.”

Come see this phenomenal production of “Beauty and the Beast” at San Lorenzo Valley High School March 1-10. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm, with Sunday matinees at 2pm. There is a special “Community Night” performance on Thursday, March 7, at 7pm. 

A limited number of tickets will be available to purchase at the door one hour prior to showtime; advanced tickets are available online at the SLV Theatre Boosters webpage ( Purchasing advance tickets is highly recommended. The production is rated G and has a running time of approximately 2 hours, 30 minutes.

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Christina Wise covers politics, education, art & culture, and housing issues. She has a degree in Communication from San Diego State University, and has lived in the San Lorenzo Valley since 1996. She's a community advocate and a mother of two.


  1. Dear Editor,
    Please post this announcement in your Scott’s Valley Press Banner.

    > SIR (Sons In Retirement) is a nonprofit, nonpolitical public benefit organization of senior men. The organization’s mission is to enhance the lives of it’s members through social events while making friends. The Twin Valleys, Santa Cruz Branch welcomes new members. We meet at noon on the first Wednesday of each month at the Elks Lodge on Jewel St. in Santa Cruz.

    > Please contact Ray Disperati at 831-588-8876, Charlie Johnson at 831-594-8965 or Rick Glissman at 832-295-1130 for more details.
    Thank you,
    Charles Johnson
    Member of SIR
    Scotts Valley/SanLorenzo Valley Branch #36
    Cell: 831-594-8965

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