For this version of “Meet the Cast,” we decided to ask a series of rapid-fire questions to a group of cast members. Keith Tittermary (Cogsworth), Bailey Wolf (Belle), Jason Damaso (Lumiere), and Dave Robinson (Beast) were able to share their thoughts on the show and give us some personal insight into the mind of an actor. As funny and dedicated as these four are, they are a great representation of the entire cast, which is a great reason to come see the show!
Question: What character in the show do you most relate to, and why?
Wolf (Belle): I think I would have to say Belle! Growing up, I was the “nerd” of the family – always studying, reading, and focused on school. I had my nose stuck in a book all the time, just like Belle, and it did make me feel a little different and lonely sometimes. I also relate to her growth in learning to be proud of who you are but not afraid to change in ways you may not have expected.
Robinson (Beast): I definitely relate to the Beast. He’s brusque and loud and maybe not entirely socially capable, but a big softy at heart. He’s very unsure of himself and makes mistakes but he tries his best. And isn’t that really what’s important?
Question: When were you first exposed to Beauty and the Beast, and what do you remember liking about that first experience?
Tittermary (Cogsworth): I was in high school when the movie came out and I remember taking my high school girlfriend to see it on ice, when Disney on Ice was a big thing. I remember loving it then and saw the movie after. On another note, I had the opportunity to conduct this show at Olney Theatre in 2005 and it remains one of the highlights of my career.
Damaso (Lumiere): Like a lot of people, my first exposure to Beauty and the Beast was the animated Disney movie which I saw years ago when it first came out. I loved everything about it – the music, the story, the characters. It’s one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. This is actually my first exposure to the stage production. I’ve never had the chance to see it performed live before, so I really love being a part of this production.
Question: What is the song from the show you find yourself singing most often in the shower or in the car, and why?
Wolf: Probably “Gaston” – I’m typically more of a character actress so I enjoy doing Lefou’s and Gaston’s voices. That’s a show I’ll only perform alone in my car, though!
Damaso: I’ve been listening to the soundtrack constantly in my car so I sing many of the songs a lot, but my favorite number in the show to sing, hear and watch is the opening number, “Belle.” I love opening numbers. It’s so exciting when you go see a musical and the opening number starts and it introduces you to the characters and their world right away. I think “Belle” definitely does that.
Question: Do you have any hidden talents that would surprise an audience member?
Wolf: I’m not sure that I have any hidden talents. But a fun fact is that I’m conversationally fluent in ASL. If there are any signers in the audience, I’m happy to chat afterwards 🙂
Tittermary: In the late 1980s, McDonalds had a “Menu Song” that was the patter song of all the items on the menu. If you could sing it, you would get a free Happy Meal. I can still sing it to this day.
Question: What would you say to someone who’s debating whether to come see this show?
Robinson: It’s a wonderful rendition of a classic show with an incredibly talented cast, production team, and crew. I honestly believe you’d be doing yourself a disservice if you missed it! You should come see it. “That is not a request!”
Tittermary: “See it or don’t. You’re an adult and this is America.” – Ron Swanson (who would be a perfect Cogsworth)