After the eighth and final three-hour long rehearsal Wednesday, the 40-plus crew and cast of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" were ready for opening night - and exhausted.
The cast members, ranging in age from six to 56, have spent at least 60 hours practicing lines, learning songs, nailing entrances and exits, and supporting one another.
The stage crew has worked equally hard, learning dozens of lighting and sound cues, and moving multiple set pieces off and on the stage, often in near black-out conditions and close quarters.
The musical, presented by the Brookings Harbor Community Theater, opened last night and continues on weekends through June 2.
Being in a play is hard work. Presenting one with such a large cast, a challenging script and numerous set changes is a monumental accomplishment.
The songs! The dancing! The humor! I applaud each and everyone one of the people - from the cast to the crew to the set designers and costume makers - who make this wonderful play come alive.
It's been a delight watching numerous rehearsals for the last five weeks - my daughter Alia, 10, has several small roles. During that time, I've watched as each cast members struggled, stayed strong and ultimately mastered their particular role or job. The hard work, perseverance and passion is simply amazing.
I expect each show to be a sellout - not simply because it's a popular Disney show, but because such dedication and commitment to anything these days - especially by our local young thespians - deserves it.
This is community theater so there will be occasional flubbed lines and missed cues, but none of that matters.
When the last song is sung and actors take their final bows, I will be right there in the audience, clapping and hooting the loudest.
My hat is off to each and every one involved in this wonderful production.