‘Beast’ie boy

By Kyle Koehler

Actor talks about his experience as the iconic Disney hero

Friday, Feb. 14 — Darick Pead, a graduate of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, and Broadway newbie, will grace the stage at Wharton next week for the touring Broadway production of “Disney's Beauty and the Beast.”

This is Pead's first Broadway tour, although he's no stranger to theater.

“I remember listening to a musical, ‘Assassins,’ while I was doing a paper in 6th grade,” Pead said. Pead spent his younger years watching his brothers and sisters doing shows in high school as well as performing himself throughout elementary, junior high, high school, as well as a couple shows at his alma mater.

“I just moved to New York City after graduation for auditions,” Pead said. “(I had) never been to New York before. When I first auditioned, it was for ‘Shrek.’ I was really nervous. I just went in and sang the song and got a call back.”

Pead didn't end up getting the part, but he didn't let that deter him from his dreams. “My mindset is if they want you, they'll call you back and if not it's ok and you just move on,” he said. “If you are prepared, you shall not fear.”

Pead decided to audition for “Beauty and the Beast” because of his previous experience with the performance while doing regional theater at the Hale Center in Utah, where he played the Beast in 2007.

“It's a really fun show to do,” Pead said. “It's a great show for family, kids, and adults.”

One of the reasons Pead likes the show so much is the moral messages behind it. “My associate director said, ‘Love is not about me, it's not about you and me, it's about you,’” Pead said. “When you love someone it's not about how good you can love that person, it's about how all your focus should be on that one person. That's something that the Beast really portrays.”

Another moral message of the story, for those few unfamiliar with the famous tale, is the old debate over inner beauty vs. outer beauty. “We, as a society, are so focused on the exterior, on the awesome bodies, great faces, working out really hard, trying to be as glamorous and perfect as can be and not focusing on what we can be as people – kind and loving,” Pead said.

As for playing the role of the Beast?

“It's awesome,” Pead said. “It's fun to have all that crap on, all that stuff on because you can act through it. It doesn't create a hindrance as you would think.”

Still, the extravagant costume can get a little difficult to work with. “It's really big, kind of like putting a snowsuit on in the summertime, so it can get really hot ... especially in winter, when they put the heat on in the building,” Pead said. “It can be distracting because I'm sweating so much.”

Pead also said that the cape can get in the way at times, and he has to try and tuck it in while acting without making it obvious. “The cape has a mind of its own,” he said.

Pead has never been to the Lansing area before, but is excited to experience everything the area has to offer. “I've actually become a big fan of college towns recently, so I'm looking forward to that (and to) being a part of the Spartan nation.”

“Disney's Beauty and the Beast”

Wharton Center

February 18-23

7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday

$32/$25 students

Cobb Great Hall, Wharton Center, East Lansing