Beauty and the Beast showing at ZHS theater

Managing Editor

Elk River Community Theatre wrapped up a series of performances of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at Zabee Theater in Elk River High School and prepared to open again in Zimmerman Friday, July 28 at 7 p.m.

The theater group took its set down immediately after its last showing in Elk River on Sunday and took it on road on the night of July 24 to set it up in the new auditorium in Zimmerman.

Photo by Jim Boyle
Elizabeth Budahn, Belle, along with Kirk Davis, playing Belle’s father Maurice, perform together at the Zabee Theater.

There are shows at 2 p.m. Saturday, July 29, and Sunday, July 30, at the Zimmerman High School theater.

This professional theater experience will include a cast of 66 local actors, actresses and vocalists; countless backstage crew; a full orchestra; and a stunning set.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at

Belle will be portrayed by actress and vocalist Lilly Hayworth, who began her career in theater at the age of 4 months and attended the St. Paul Conservatory for the Arts. Her understudy is Elizabeth Budahn.

Father of five, Russ Branjord, plays the Beast. For Branjord, this is a family affair, as his wife and children are involved in the show, either in front of or behind the curtain.

Josh Malley has a stellar performance as the arrogant Gaston.

Other performers include ERCT veterans Michael Conrad (Cogsworth), Lucas Ibister (Lumiere), Jodi Acker and Diane Jones (Wardrobe), Cheryl Hathaway and Janine Wilke (Mrs. Potts), Dave Inselman (Lafou), Eva Jones and Elizabeth Inselman (Babette), and Sam Branjord and Owen McCready (Chip).