Written by 5:33 am Cypress, Cypress College, Musical, Review, Theater, Uncategorized

Beauty and the Beast @ Cypress College – Review

photo credit: Jayson Antonio

Written by Patrick Chavis

Disney, Disney, Disney — is it possible to escape the Mouse when you live down in Orange County? I think it’s possible, but it’s very difficult. If you’re not into Disney, you most likely have a friend who is and who, in the last few years, didn’t watch a Marvel movie. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is one of the most popular movies of all time, coming out during the  Disney Renaissance Era of Disney along with other big hits like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, and Aladdin. The popularity of these movies led to stage adaptations. Cypress College takes on the stage version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with a lot of heart, some gorgeous lighting moments, and a very open storybook design. Despite some uneven performances, this show has some claws.

Story:

I know this musical quite well. It was the first musical I had ever seen on Broadway, so it’s quite special to me. Since then, I’ve seen hundreds of shows, and while Beauty and the Beast does not feel as magical to me now compared to seeing it as a kid, I appreciate what a big tent pole musical does for not only musical theatre but for the theatre community in general. It shows younger kids that a familiar story can be told in new and creative ways. While The Lion King musical did it with puppetry, Beauty and the Beast takes a breezier more song-focused approach. Why not? The songs are the best part.

Set:

The design from Scenic Designer Avery Tang is very broad and very blocky. It lacked detail or any kind of texture, which created a storybook atmosphere for the show. In that way, I think the design was successful. However, its actual functionality in the show felt out of place in a way.

Singing/Acting:

While the singing during certain songs was uneven, the dancing and the choreography from Sonya Lane’t Randall were well done. The work this cast put into their dancing sequences is undeniable. Some examples are the beer sequence during “Gaston” and the movement in “The Mob Song.” Also, the color palette used for “The Mob Song” looks great.

Lukas Marvin effortlessly plays Lumiere. I’m convinced this guy wakes up with a fake French accent and dreams of feather dusters. He’s a talented dude.

In the calm emotional moments, I think actor Bradley Weaver (Beast) gets it right. However, his angrier moments were less aggressive and powerful than expected, so the contrast between the different aspects of the Beast’s personality did not leave much of an impact.

Cypress College’s production of Beauty and the Beast runs March 10 – 19, 2023.

Above Average!

Review
7.6 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Story8
Acting7
Set & Design7.5
Costumes8
Entertainment7.5
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Tags: , , , , , , Last modified: May 24, 2023
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