Courtesy of Kevin and Melia Jones
Noah Jones of Roanoke County is
playing the role of Chip the teacup.
Photos courtesy of Kevin and Melia Jones
"This is new for our children and
it's new to be away from each other for this long a
time," Melia Jones said of the yearlong tour. And
yet,"this is an opportunity for Noah, once in a lifetime
— you want to make it work."
Noah plays Chip, the teacup, who's
the son of Mrs. Potts, the teapot.
Courtesy of Joan Marcus
The Broadway musical "Disney's
Beauty and the Beast" is touring the country for a year.
It is the final production of "Broadway in Roanoke's"
Noah Jones isn't supposed to tell how his disembodied
head, guised as a teacup, appears on stage during
performances of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast."
The official answer: It's "Disney magic."
Seven-year-old Noah has been taking part in that magic
since March as part of the musical's national tour, and
he'll be in both "Broadway in Roanoke" shows taking place
His father, Kevin Jones, who runs the Kevin Jones
Performing Arts Studio out of his Roanoke County home,
couldn't be prouder. Nor could his mother, Melia, who is
traveling with him on the tour.
The musical is based on the 1991 Disney movie. In that
version of the timeless "Beauty and the Beast" fable, the
Beast lives in an enchanted castle. Its inhabitants are
under a spell, like the Beast, that transformed them into
everyday objects such as candles, clocks and tea pots. Noah
plays Chip, the teacup, who's the son of Mrs. Potts, the
As Noah explains it, "Mrs. Potts pushes me around." His
head, adorned with a saucer collar and cup hat, is usually
visible atop a tea tray.
Asked about what his character is like, Noah said, "He's
always smiling, but sometimes the Beast gives a big roar and
Chip stops smiling."
Noah alternates performances of Chip with another young
boy, Sebastian Thomas, who's from New York. The two also
play together backstage. Melia Jones has a backstage role as
"kid wrangler," which she said is an easy job because both
boys are very professional.
Noah shows no evidence of stage fright -- handy when he
made his debut as Chip in front of an audience of 3,000 at
the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. "He's really down to
earth about it all," Kevin Jones said.
If there's anything Noah doesn't like about life on the
road with the touring company, it's exercise warm-ups.
"They're haaaaaaard," he said, "because you have to stretch
your legs really far."
Noah first auditioned for the role in New York in May
2010. The casting director liked him, but "I was too short,"
Miranda, his 11-year-old sister, also tried out for some
parts. Though she hasn't yet landed one in New York, she's
performed regionally in plays and commercials. Kevin Jones
said he wanted his son and daughter to know what a New York
audition is like.
Noah was called back in October, but his father couldn't
take him, as he was in the middle of prepping for his
students' musical that takes place each October at Jefferson
In January, Noah was called back yet again, and this
time, a year older and a little taller, he landed the part.
Noah's big break creates a challenge for the Jones
family. "It's a contract for a year," Melia Jones said.
"We'll be on the road for a while."
His mother and father will take turns traveling with him
as the tour continues. It helps that he and Miranda are home
"This is new for our children and it's new to be away
from each other for this long a time," Melia Jones said. And
yet, "this is an opportunity for Noah, once in a lifetime --
you want to make it work."
The Jones family is posting photos on the acting school
website of some of Noah's adventures on tour. You can see
them by clicking "Where on tour is Noah Jones?" at