A Q&A with Logan Denninghoff, who plays Gaston in the touring stage production of "Beauty and the Beast" that's coming to Seattle Feb. 21-26.

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Logan Denninghoff walks onstage with as much bravado as you’d expect for the archetypal villain in the time-honored tale of “Beauty and the Beast.” His back to the audience, he fires his rifle into the air before sauntering into full view.

From his burly physique down to his brown leather boots, Denninghoff onstage embodies Gaston, the arrogant villain, in the stage version of the Disney favorite about a young woman who finds love in the most unlikely of places.

On Tuesday, the Broadway musical comes to the Paramount Theatre. Sets and costumes elicit the same whimsy and endearing characters of the 1991 Disney original animated film.

For Denninghoff, this week’s performance is a chance to return to his childhood home. He lived and went to school in Bothell, ultimately falling in love with theater there.

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We caught up with him before his Seattle premiere.

Q: What was it like playing the “bad guy” in such a timeless love story?

A: Gaston has such a wide range of actions and emotions to play … In act two when I start plotting and becoming a little maniacal, getting my anger out on stage can be very freeing. It’s cool to have that outlet of the stage.

Q: How then, did you prepare yourself for the role of Gaston?

A: It all kind of begins when I start putting on the makeup. I’ve taken up my eyebrows with a very dark brown paint, and I put on that black wig with a ponytail and I really feel like someone else. I don’t consider myself an egotistical jerk in real life. But it sure is fun playing someone that you’re not!

Q: You’ve been acting since you were young and attended the Washington Academy of Performing Arts as a boy. Even with such an early start, did you always know that you wanted to do theater?

A: When I was 10, I was Kurt in a production of “Sound of Music.” My dad played Captain Von Trapp and my mom was a music director in “Sound of Music.” It was a whole family affair … I saw my parents doing shows and I thought, I want to try.

Q: You guys have been on the road for nearly a year. What happens behind the scenes on a traveling show like this?

A: The whole idea of replicating the same show in every theater that you go to across the nation was a new concept to me. We have an awesome crew that loads semi-trucks full of stuff — set pieces, props, lighting that we bring to every show.

And in touring, I’ve gained so much perspective on what our country is like, by meeting people from all over.

Celina Kareiva: 206-384-8904 or ckareiva@seattletimes.com

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