Fall in Love with this Timeless Classic Once Again – Evan Soutter

When I heard that the musical this year was announced to be “Beauty and the Beast“, I was very excited. It’s THE iconic modern era Disney story in my mind. So many iconic and beloved characters; Belle, the Beast, Mrs. Potts, Gaston, Lumiere, Cogsworth, etc… yet you can only have the opportunity to play one. The (almost) two months between the announcement and the auditions was the most indecisive two months of my life. With the original Broadway soundtrack on repeat and an ever-spinning character prize wheel in my head of who I wanted to audition for, it wasn’t until 3 days before auditioning that I finally decided on auditioning for Gaston (but… Also, The Beast, if they would let me sing for both. Which, they generously did).

Gaston (Evan Soutter), Beast (Craig Martin), and Belle (Robyn Hawthorne) rehearse for “Beauty and the Beast”.

Ultimately, what made me land on Gaston was the physicality and depth of the infamously shallow character. With his solo number (aptly named ‘Me’) being a 2-and-a-half-minute sprint while belting a song about how lucky any woman (but specifically Belle) would be to marry a he-man such as himself. Along with the acting challenge of portraying his slow descent from go-lucky chauvinist who can’t fathom anyone saying no to him, all the way down to short fused, small ego’d embodiment of toxic masculinity. 

When I was told I was cast as Gaston, I was thrilled and terrified. Everyone knows Gaston, everyone has a mental image of Gaston (mine will always be Luke Evans…). Portraying a character that is so well known, can be a daunting task. Luckily, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with a stellar Director (Cyndi Langford), an incredible Musical Director (Anna Mastin), and a truly gifted, patient and encouraging Choreographer (Meaghan MacDonald), who have all worked together so well with me to help me find, capture and exude the essence that is Gaston.

Along with the indescribably talented Cast, the absolute masterpieces that our Orchestra produces and the dedicated and hardworking crew that we have on this production (not to mention the dreamy hunk that is Gaston, of course), I have no doubt that every single audience member will fall in love with this timeless classic once again! 

Beauty and the Beast plays at the Capitol Theatre Feb 23 – Mar 3, 2024.