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Beauty and the Beast
July 24, 2012 - Kylie Saari
I went to the Civic Summer Theatre presentation of Beauty and the Beast last night.
I have never been to a show by this group before, but after seeing the costumes in the newspaper photo and knowing my daughter was familiar with the story, I decided to take her for a special outing. I'll be honest, I didn't expect it to go especially well.
To begin with, the show didn't start until 7:30 — a little late for my girl. I thought she might get tired, and possibly, whiny. I have taken her to a show by another local group that was so confusing and difficult to hear she couldn't follow the story line. While she knows the characters in Beauty and the Beast, she has never seen the movie, so I didn't know how confusing talking candlesticks would be.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
The show was fantastic. It held my daughter's attention until the end, at nearly 10 p.m. She laughed wildly, and I did too. She only was confused at one part, when Belle changed her dress she didn't immediately understand it was the same character, but I chalk that up to her understanding of theatre, not to the actors.
There were a few hiccups — a few spotlights didn't get aimed correctly, and couple of lines were missed, but overall, the actors were great.
I would like to call out Lumiere specifically. I have never meet Matthew Stoffel, but his portrayal was great. His accent was carried through the show without dropping it, his expressions were comical and appropriate, and he never seemed to lose the energy he started the show with. The other actors were great also, Gaston (Ethan Van Gorp) had the swagger befitting the character, and his sidekick, Alan Fisher as Lafou, kept up the comedy and had an impressive number of stage falls.
If you are thinking about going to this show, do it. It is funny and yet the meaning comes through. If you are thinking about bringing a child, it can be done successfully if s/he can sit for that long. The 2-year-old behind me was a little confused by the Beast (Moose? Moose? Moose?), but seemed to enjoy the show none the less.
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