Area residents might have recognized at least one character in Thursday night's opening performance of Beauty and the Beast at the Stranahan Theater.
Mandy Striph, a 2006 graduate of Southview High School, is in the ensemble and is the understudy for the characters of Mrs. Potts and the Wardrobe in the Broadway musical that closes here on Sunday.
"We wear a lot of wigs, but there are bios in the program and sometimes photos are in there; then it becomes easier to recognize who I am," she said.
In addition to performing onstage at Southview, Ms. Striph -- the daughter of Drs. Gerald and Karen Striph -- also performed with the Village Players, Toledo Repertoire Theatre, Waterville Playshop, and the Croswell Opera House in Adrian.
In 2010, she was one of six graduates who became the first class to obtain a musical theater degree from Indiana University. What followed was a successful trip to New York City, where Ms. Striph landed her first audition with NETworks Presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast. After a fruitful presentation, she got a contract with the company, with whom she has traveled for a year.
"I learned the company was coming to Toledo when I got the job. I was so excited that I cried," she said. "It's kind of a dream come true, to be able to perform at the Stranahan where I used to watch shows. It's humbling, and I feel like the luckiest girl in the world."
Beauty and the Beast will be 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Stranahan, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd.