The Stage is set for Lincoln Theatre Guild’s “Beauty and The Beast”. Show opens tonight

Melissa Cordell
L Town Radio Staff Reporter

The stage is set.  Months of rehearsals have taken place.  The Lincoln Theatre Guild’s production of “Beauty and the Beast,” sponsored by Austin Orthodontics, will open on Thursday, August 1 at 7 p.m. at the Lincoln Cultural Center in downtown Lincolnton.

H. Michael Wirth

In a Facebook post, the show’s director and LTG’s vice president Michael Wirth said he had “never had a better cast in over 40 years of doing theatre.” In an interview with L Town Radio, he went on further to say, “A Disney Show is always magical, and this show is no exception. From costuming to lighting to sound to the stage to props. It’s just a magical experience people are going to have when they come and see the show.”

Jesse Ramirez
LTR File

Jesse Ramirez, the “Beast” in the upcoming musical, said: “Being part of LTG has truly been a blessing. I love seeing such a passionate theatre in Lincolnton. Theatre is something that has truly changed my life and made me a happier person. I want the tradition of theatre to live through our youth, and I have complete faith that LTG will continue to inspire the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow. I’ve learned a lot from doing a show so far from home, and I truly owe Mike Wirth my gratitude for his artistic vision and being a great role model.”

Neil Underwood said: “We, ‘the musicians in the rafters’, are so proud to be playing and backing-up such an incredible show, with an even more impressive cast of beautiful, kind, and talented people. Know how proud the crew and production staff are of each of you and that we are backing you 100%. Joanna and I are like Chip. ‘We feel all bubbly inside’ when you sing and perform. I’m sure you’ll have the same feeling when you come and see the show.” Underwood joked and explained the ‘rafters’ line: “The Board of Directors recently passed to have an Orcheresta pit installed in the Balcony.  It is a great addition and will help future productions.  The Lincoln Theatre Guild is always looking for ways to improve the overall theatre experience and the experience at the Lincoln Cultural Center.”

Lincoln Theatre Guild President Joanna Underwood went on to say: “This production has been exceptional from start to finish.  From the costumes to the set.  From the astonishing cast to the community support.  The Board was approached with an idea to have a ‘Be Our Guest Tea Party’ which was a huge success.  It brought the community together.  To let them forget about their worries, even if it was momentarily. That’s what this show is about.  That is our goal.  And that’s what theatre is .” 

Pre-Production Meeting of Beauty and The Beast

There are many involved in the equation for putting on a production of this magnitude.  The production features music direction by Lincoln Theatre Guild President Joanna Underwood and Assistant Director Ash Wirth, Artistic Design by Karen Hovis and Hailey Jordan, set design by Dean Wise, and hand-made props by Matt Schmidt and Tim White.  This show is also filled with unique costumes designed by  Mary Bolton, Randi Koseth, Robin Bryant, and Eastern Costume Company. Orchestrations are provided by Neil Underwood, with piano accompaniment by Michael Sisk. Sound is taken care of by Jeanne and Brian Nuhfer, and cast members have practiced original choreography by Kelly Barker.  As always a show cannot function without a stage manager. Holly Howell fills that role and is, in Director Mike Wirth’s opinion, “One of The Best.”  Hair and Makeup services were donated by Studio 150, along with Shannon Ramsey and Kallie Cope.

Hannah Pratt
Photo from LTR File

“My first performance with the LTG was in 2017, and there’s a reason I keep coming back,” said Hannah Pratt, who plays Belle. “Community theatre provides a support system and a family away from home, and I have found my home with the LTG. We have such a talented group of performers, costumers, lighting, and sound designers, and so many others that continue to impress me with their unique talents.”

There are 8 dates in August to see the show: August 1, 2, 3 at 7:00 p.m.; August 4 at 3:00 p.m.; August 8, 9, 10 at 7:00 p.m.; and August 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and senior citizens. Tickets can be bought at the Cultural Center or online here.

To read more on the previous story about the “BE OUR GUEST TEA PARTY” Click Here

Melissa Cordell is an alumna of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Political Science and Women’s & Gender Studies and is the Staff Reporter to L Town Radio. To email Melissa with a story idea or news tip email at

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