Suffolk students set for ‘Beauty’

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, August 8, 2013

Musical performance: Suffolk resident Nia Blondell, right, portrays Babette, the enchanted feather duster, during a dress rehearsal of “Beauty and the Beast” on Thursday. (William Scott/Suffolk News-Herald)

Musical performance: Suffolk resident Nia Blondell, right, portrays Babette, the enchanted feather duster, during a dress rehearsal of “Beauty and the Beast” on Thursday. (William Scott/Suffolk News-Herald)

By William Scott

Correspondent

Three Suffolk students invite locals to be their guests in a musical to be presented by Theatrix Productions.

Newsletter

Email newsletter signup

Nia Blondell and Randi and Jason Miller will all be performing in the production of “Beauty and the Beast” that will be presented this weekend and next week in Virginia Beach.

The “Beauty and the Beast” production is part of a summer theater camp for ages 6 to 18. This production will close the summer season for the company.

Auditions were held in June, and the actors have been rehearsing since July 15.

Nia has been performing in theater since she was 8. After starting in a production of “Peter Pan” by the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts, she found performing in front of a live audience enjoyable. According to her mother, Amy Blondell, she has never worked harder at anything else.

At 13, Nia is a student of John F. Kennedy Middle School. Though she isn’t certain she will seek a career in theater, Nia does plan to enroll in the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk. Nia is playing the role of Babette, the enchanted feather duster.

“I would say she puts on this front,” Nia said of the character. “But she’s really insecure about herself so she feels like she has to be there and be known.”

Randi is a 15-year-old King’s Fork High School student. She was attracted to the genre due to an interest in singing. Taking voice lessons and participating in the drama club, Randi sees acting as a side hobby. She hopes to become a doctor, rather than pursue a career in acting. Randi is performing the role Mrs. Potts, whom she describes as kind and maternal.

Jason is a 12-year-old student at John Yeates Middle School. Like his sister, Jason takes voice lessons. Jason discovered his love of acting through his sister’s theater performances. Like Nia, Jason plans to audition for the Governor’s School for the Arts in two years, and he aspires to have a career in musical theater.

Jason will play the roles of a wolf, villager and an enchanted spoon. Though he auditioned for the role of Lefou, Jason was happy with the roles he received.

The production will show on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m., Aug. 10 and 11 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Aug. 12, 13 and 15 at 7 p.m. Theatrix Productions is located at 821 Sunnyside Drive in Virginia Beach.