It's the iconic villainous duo that everybody loves to hate (or secretly love). Although their portrayals are convincing, we can assure you that the real men behind the roles of Gaston and LeFou are nothing like their theatrical counterparts. We talked with our very own Gaston, Bevan Bühler, and Lefou, Milton Dover, to take a peek into their process as they prepare for these roles.
What sparked your interest in musical theatre?
Milton: The first musical I remember seeing as a child was Fiddler on the Roof; I was so mesmerized that I remember thinking to myself “I’m going to do that one day.” The first full length musical I performed in was ‘Bat Boy: The Musical.’ I was 18 and I played a woman (hehe), Mrs. Taylor!
Bevan: I had barely sung a note until my last year in high school when a choir teacher pointed at me and said I should play Rolph in their production of The Sound of Music. So I did - and I’ve been hooked on performing since.
Would you say you have any similarities to your character?
Bevan: Yes. All of them. Although I like to think I’m better at taking rejection.
Milton: I think Lefou is desperately searching for love in all the wrong places. I think we can all relate to that need to be loved.
What has the rehearsal process been like?
Milton: I’ve had a blast rehearsing with Bevan (Gaston); it’s been a lot of fun developing and adding layers to these two complex characters.
Bevan: Milton is a top notch talent and he still talks to me after I accidentally punched/bit him in rehearsal. The whole process has been quick paced and it’s been a fun challenge to fit an enormous amount of detail into each scene. The comedic nature of the show means timing is everything and if we want the jokes to land, we need to be very specific.
What’s the highlight of the show for you?
Bevan: The highlight of the show for me is Be Our Guest. Hunter and the rest of our team kill that number and I have the dumbest grin on my face every time I see them perform it.
Milton: The highlight of the show for me would have to be a toss up between ‘Something There’ which is so incredibly sweet, and ‘Be Our Guest,” which makes me so happy!
What’s the most challenging part about this role?
Milton: What’s the most challenging part about playing Lefou? That’s easy, the somersault!
Bevan: The most challenging part of this role is finding the balance between staying true to the Disney charachter while also bringing parts of myself into the role. Gaston is iconic and well known so it is sometimes tempting to lose myself by imitating him instead of creating a more authentic and well rounded character.
Do you have any pre-rehearsal rituals?
Bevan: I usually try to squeeze in 5-10 minutes of quiet to focus on what is required that day. A few vocal “sighs” to make sure everything is working and then I dive in.
Milton: For my pre-rehearsal ritual, I go to a coffee shop, relax, centre myself and go over my material.
What brings the story of Beauty and the Beast to life in the stage production?
Milton: I think audiences will be blown away by the vibrancy of this cast. It’s so unusual nowadays to have a cast of 50+ people on stage (something that used to be all too common). The energy is breathtaking.
Bevan: I think what’s special about this production is how the directing team and cast brought their A-game from day one. I’ve been impressed with how much everyone has been contributing to all aspects of the show. Each and every person brings something truly unique to the table. There’s a real sense of spirit and community.
What should audiences expect from your portrayals of Gaston & LeFou?
Bevan: My goal is to make Gaston as wretched and self-centred as I can while still keeping an element of humour - If the audience boos and hisses at my curtain call, I’ll know I have done my job right. Expect camp, hilarity, and goosebumps - you don’t want to miss it.
Milton: I think audiences will be happy to see the characters that they know and love, but will also be impressed by the fact that we have all put something of ourselves into each role.