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Pittsburgh Ballet Theater Putting Own Spin On "Beauty And The Beast"

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The Pittsburgh Ballet Theater has performed gracefully for 45 years. But in February, for the first time, they'll present the ageless classic, "Beauty and the Beast."

This show was performed by the San Francisco Ballet in 1982. It's not the Disney production.

Rehearsing the roles of stags in the Enchanted Forest, male dancers will learn to perform wearing masks made of leather. The masks and other stage garb are created in the costume shop.

"This is the cape that he wears as the Beast, on top of his costume," says Janet Groom Campbell.

She has been PBT's costume manager for 41 years. And this is another busy season.

Meanwhile, in a warehouse on Smallman Street, a craftsman creates parts for towering candelabras, as another sponges paint onto a stage set.

Production manager Joe Lumia and his crew have hundreds of props. They're in the business of building illusion.

"We're constantly creating this magical enchanted space on the stage, to help the audience get into the show and pull away," Lumia says.

Props and scenery for annual shows like "The Nutcracker" are stored at the warehouse until early December, when they're loaded onto a truck and carted over to the Benedum Center.

But first, another timeless romance takes the stage.

"She's finding her true love," Campbell says. "And she causes his transformation into that handsome, wonderful prince that all girls are looking for."

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