The butler did it! Dane Douglas brings Cogsworth to life in CTH’s “Beauty and the Beast”

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As the stuffy butler Cogsworth – one of the enchanted objects in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” – Dane Douglas has been having the time of his life in the Community Theatre of Howell’s latest production.

“Playing the role of Cogsworth has been incredibly fun,” Douglas said. “The relationships Cogsworth has with the other enchanted objects makes for some great comedy. He’s this prototypical ‘stick-in-the-mud’ English butler who thinks he’s running the castle. Meanwhile, his demands and orders are repeatedly ignored by the rest of the staff, especially Lumiere. Cogsworth and Lumiere are like the Laurel and Hardy of the show, always riffing off one another.”

The audience will get to see for itself starting this weekend, as CTH’s “Beauty and the Beast” takes the stage at the Howell High School Freshman Campus. Performances are Nov. 11-13 and 18-20.

Douglas, who lives in Howell, is no stranger to the CTH stage. He appeared earlier this year in the powerful “A Few Good Men,” playing Lt. Jack Ross.

“That was definitely my favorite role,” Douglas said. “It was an incredible honor to play a Marine Corps officer. I mean who wouldn’t love the opportunity to portray Kevin Bacon’s character from the iconic film?

“Also, ’Shrek the Musical’ will always hold a special place in my heart. It was the first CTH show that our entire family did together. My wife Heather worked sound, while I got to share the stage with both of my daughters, Devin (13) and Morgan (11).”

Like many a man on the CTH stage, Douglas got involved in the theater through his kids.

“In 2011, we took our kids to the CTH production of ‘Annie,’ which sparked their interest in theater,” he said. “Shortly thereafter, our oldest daughter landed a role in ‘My Son Pinocchio.’ My wife and I got oriented into CTH by working behind the scenes on set dress and set build. The whole experience was incredible, so we kept coming back.”

Douglas, who works as Operations Manager at the General Motors National Parts Distribution Center in Lansing, said the “Beauty and the Beast” experience has been one of his favorites.

“This is the first time I have performed in a show directed by Kevin Rogers, and I couldn’t be more pleased with the whole experience,” Douglas said.

“Kevin has an absolute passion for theater, and it comes out in everything he does. I don’t have a lot of experience on stage, so I always welcome feedback on what works, and what doesn’t. Kevin is great about providing that feedback. If something is not coming together as he’s envisioned it, he finds a way to get it out of you. He’s a real hands-on director, with a passion for detail.”

After two-and-a-half months of rehearsals, Douglas can’t wait to finally unveil the show in front of some live audiences.

“The cast, crew, and everyone involved has worked tirelessly to make this a great experience for the audience,” he said. “The musical numbers are truly amazing, with such a talented cast of dancers and vocalists. The story has the perfect blend of comedy, romance, and drama. The message is timeless…beauty is within.”

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.

About Buddy Moorehouse 84 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

1 Comment

  1. We think Dane Douglas is great. We have seen all his previous plays and his portrayal of Jack Ross in “A Few Good Men” was spot on. We can hardly wait to see Beauty and the Beast this weekend.

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