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Siblings star in ‘Beauty and the Beast’

When Torrey Pines High School student Megan Martin found out she would be starring as Belle in the Young Actors’ Theatre production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” she was ecstatic.

“Usually for every show I really want to get the big part, but this was the one show that I was holding my breath on,” Martin said. “It has been so much fun being a part of it and being Belle.”

Martin, who has had leading roles in other productions put on by Young Actors’ Theatre, wants musical theater to be her life’s work. Next year, she’ll be transferring from Torrey Pines High School to the Coronado School of the Arts in order to hone her craft. After she attends college, she would like to perform on Broadway.

“Beauty and the Beast,” which ran on Broadway for more than 5,000 performances from 1994 to 2007, is the tale of a young woman, Belle, who finds herself in an enchanted castle with a beast who must fall in love before his 21st birthday in order to break the spell and become human again.

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The musical opens at Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art tonight.

Martin’s brother, Chris Martin, plays Belle’s father, Maurice, an oddball inventor.

Although the siblings have shared the stage in other shows before, “Beauty and the Beast” is the first play in which they’ve had roles that interact with one another. They sing a duet titled “No Matter What.”

“It’s cool to be working as my sister’s father,” Chris said. “I’m having a good time having to look and sound old.”

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While his sister is a veteran of the stage, “Beauty and the Beast” is the first production in which Chris Martin’s plays a significant role. His previous theater background includes ensemble roles and behind-the-scenes work - lighting, set design and set building.

Chris Martin graduated from Torrey Pines High School this past June and will start his freshman year this fall at the University of Arizona. Although he is not attending college specifically to pursue theater, he said he wants to continue with theater as a hobby.

Jean Isaac, executive director and founder of Young Actors’ Theatre, said Megan and Chris Martin are phenomenal in their roles as Belle and Maurice.

The siblings have been working with Young Actors’ Theatre since 2002.

“Beauty and the Beast” runs through July 20. More information, go to

www.yatsandiego.org