Written by 6:26 am Musical, Review, Rose Center Theatre, Theater, Uncategorized, Westminster

Beauty and the Beast @ Rose Center Theater – Review

Photo Credit: Jason Niedle / Tethos

Written by Patrick Chavis

Disney’s tale as old as time, Beauty in the Beast, receives an adequate presentation from the Rose Center Theater and a cute kid choir at intermission.

Story:

Beauty and the Beast is the classic story about Belle, played by Olivia Aniceto, a book-smart rebel in her small provincial town in 18th-century France. Belle’s father, a quirky inventor, Maurice, played by Vincent Aniceto, gets lost in a forest and stumbles into a mystical castle with a Beast and an ancient curse, and the Beast imprisons Maurice for trespassing. When Belle goes to save her father, she discovers the Beast and makes a deal to replace him and stay with the Beast forever—this and more in Beauty and the Beast.

This production, directed by Tim Nelson, goes extra hard in the paint for family-friendly. From the set design to the lighting to the performance of the Beast, where they mainly focus on the funny and goofy aspects of the character. This version makes the classic animated film seem almost adult in some ways. Which works in some aspects but, in other ways, diminishes some of the drama that the play and the musical try to express. The dance choreography from the ballet Dancing Wolves and the tune Gaston with the fun beer dance are highlights of this production, thanks in part to Jennifer Simpson-Matthews and Diane Makas.

Music:

There is no live band in this production. It was all pre-recorded music, and the Rose Center Theater has a speaker system to make it happen. The music sounded good from my seat, and the actors sounded balanced over the soundtrack for most of the show.

Design:

The show uses a combination of projections and solid structures to help tell this story, and it has a large ensemble cast. The visual projections are elaborate and are used frequently in the first act. However, because of the lighting, many projections are over-lit and unclear. Once we get inside, the castle set design is good, with two staircases and a dungeon in the middle of the set. The combination of both is a great idea when incorporated more cohesively. The castle has a happy and colorful design, so it captures the story’s happy aspect with this scenic design from Chris Caputo.

The costumes from David Elliot are colorful and varied enough to make the actors really shine, and they match the overall gaudy aesthetic of this particular production well.

This show has such a big ensemble; listening to them sing in unison is a treat. However, more singing issues occur when the performers perform separately.

Acting:

Laura Pasarow Bangasser plays Madame de LA Grande Bouche, the singing Wardrobe, with the voice, arrogance, and kind heart the character requires.

Garret Brown was an excellent Lefou. Brown’s physical comedy, pratfalls, and overall enthusiasm translated on stage.

All three Silly Girls, April Malina, Jessie Brown, and Cat Sacksteder, delivered quality performances.

Review
7.4 Overall
0 Users (0 votes)
Story7.3
Acting7.2
Set & Design7.3
Costumes8
Entertainment7.3
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Average Show! June 28 – July 14, 2024.

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