Being Belle: An Interview with Hilary Maiberger [Theater]

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Hilary Maiberger will be bringing a classic Disney character to the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts’ stage. She plays Belle, the heroine of Disney’s stage production of Beauty and the Beast, based on the animated film. I had the pleasure of speaking with her recently about her theater background and her role in this upcoming production.

Hilary Maiberger has been singing since she was just seven years old. She divulged that her older sister started taking singing lessons, and she wanted to do everything her sister did. This eventually led Maiberger into attaining her Master’s Degree from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. The production of Beauty and the Beast in which she performs is brand new. Maiberger calculated that they have only been performing for six weeks out of its scheduled year long run. “It’s a fun show to be a part of. Every night I discover new and fun moments with my cast. We’re still playing around with the characters.” She stated.

Obviously, I wanted to know how amazing it was to play a Disney “princess.” Maiberger corrected me, though. Belle is different because she’s not actually a princess. However, she said it was a dream come true to play a Disney character, especially Belle. She describes Belle as funny, witty, and smart – a heroine people can relate to, someone who can take up for herself.

I don’t like spoilers, but I desperately wanted to know if the play stays true to the film. Maiberger told me it stays very true to the film with the exception of a few musical numbers that have been added for Belle and the Beast. “It’s cool to see the Beast sing. You don’t see that in the movie. Alan Menken wrote beautiful songs for the stage production.” She added.

Beauty and the Beast will be running from Tuesday, October 23rd through Sunday, October 28th at the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts with two performances on Saturday and Sunday. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.kentuckycenter.org.

Even though it’s a “tale as old as time,” I can’t wait to see one of my favorite stories on the stage!

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