Castles, curses and beasts, oh my! Robinson Secondary’s theater troupe performed the heart-warming children’s tale “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”.
On a stormy, eerie night, a beggar woman knocks on the castle doors, pleading for shelter. The prince of the castle scorns her until she reveals herself to be a beautiful enchantress. With a tormented cry, the arrogant prince magically transforms into a hairy, horrendous beast — as he will forever stay unless the curse is broken. When Maurice (Jamie Boyd), Belle’s eccentric father, accidentally stumbles upon the cursed castle, he is taken prisoner by the terrifying Beast (Kent Wyckoff). Only the lovely Belle (Chris Caputo) can save her father, but she must take his place as prisoner for eternity. Little does Belle realize that every enchanted candlestick and clock is hoping that she’ll fall in love with the Beast and break the curse. But how can anyone love a beast?
Caputo and Wyckoff had consistent chemistry as their characters gradually fell in love. Lumiere (Robert Rome) and Cogsworth (Michael Allen) complemented each other as the humorous odd couple, often providing comedy with their eclectic contrasts. The vocal characterizations of Boyd and Lefou (Ben Bissell) exhibited careful thought, and varied them from other cast members. Mrs. Potts (Katie Ference), the lovable teapot, was amiable and dulcet, particularly in her solo “Beauty and the Beast.”
One particular scene, the chaotic storming of the castle lead by the manly Gaston (Eric Strott), was reminiscent of "Les Miserables" — but with utensils. Humorous confrontations between man and appliance ensued. The ensemble worked well as an acting unit, as each person had individual characteristics developed for their part. However, occasionally the tempo of bigger musical numbers with a wider variety of ensemble members would falter. The orchestra was a very powerful element, sometimes too much so for the voices.
The stage crew (lead by stage manager Meagan Padgett) deserves a special commendation for their quick and effective handling of the numerous cumbersome set pieces. Likewise, the make-up (with crew chiefs Katy Summerlin and Katie Vallas) designs were enchanting, especially for the Beast.
Every audience member is welcomed to “Be Our Guest” at Robinson’s charming performance of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”