Need someone to play a fatherly role in a big-stage musical? Brent Bishop has you covered.
Last fall, the Howell resident had an excellent turn as George Banks, the stern father of Jane and Michael, in the Community Theatre of Howell’s “Mary Poppins.” This fall, he’s back in the fatherly mode in CTH’s production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.”
Bishop will be playing Maurice – or, as he calls him, “crazy old Maurice” – the father of Belle, the beauty who finds herself imprisoned in an enchanted castle. “Beauty and Beast” opens this weekend at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, running Nov. 11-13 and 18-20.
“I’ve really enjoyed my experiences with CTH,” Bishop said. “Playing the fatherly roles of George Banks and Maurice have allowed me to portray a different person than I am at home, which has been very fun and interesting.”
Bishop said he’s come to truly love the character he’s playing in “Beauty and the Beast.”
“I think there is a little of ‘crazy old Maurice’ in all fathers,” Bishop said. “Playing Maurice has allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, which has been fun. I have a daughter who is a senior in high school, so Maurice and I have a little in common, which is a bit surreal!”
Bishop, who works as the General Manager of Dining Services at Mercedes Benz Financial Services in Farmington Hills, is in his third CTH production.
“Like many theater parents, I’ve followed in my children’s footsteps,” he said. “Watching my daughter and son take part in amazing experiences while creating lasting friendships has inspired me to do the same.”
He’s enjoying the experience of being in this production, and he’s also enjoying the lessons it teaches.
“I love the storyline and the messages it portrays,” Bishop said. “It reminds us the not judge a book by its cover and to strand up for what you believe in. My favorite character is Belle. She is such a strong woman, but has a sensitive side to her which allows her to make the best a bad situation.”
As opening night approaches this weekend, Bishop said he’s enjoyed the journey immensely.
“This experience has been a blast,” he said. “We have such a dynamic cast and it’s been great to watch my fellow cast members develop into their characters. Working with (director) Kevin Rogers has been fantastic. His vision and drive are incredible. I’ve been so impressed with his ability to put together this production. He’s very dialed into the process, and has assembled a great team, which makes our jobs a breeze.
“This cast has been fantastic work with, there are no egos and the experience has been very enjoyable,” he added. “The production quality is top-notch, the set is fantastic and songs are infectious, so please come and be our guest!”
Performances of “Beauty and the Beast” are Nov. 11-13 and 18-20 at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, with showtimes at 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $17 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, available online at cththeatre.org. Tickets are also available at Kahuna Coffee and Finding Roots in Howell; Big Acre in Brighton; Ed Bock Feed and Stuff in Pinckney; and Maria’s School of Dance in Fowlerville. You can also order tickets by calling the box office at 517-545-1290.
Photo by Richard Lim Photography. Visit them be clicking here.