Truly a “tale as old as time,” “Beauty and the Beast” is a story that has been passed down through generations, from the original fairy tale, to the classic animated Disney movie, to the live musical production. South County Secondary School’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” adds its own spark to the ages old story of true love.
Similar to the classic tale, the story follows a handsome Prince, plagued by his intense vanity and selfishness. Due to an unfortunate encounter with an Enchantress, the Prince is transformed into a terrifying Beast, cursed to his horrid form until he can find someone who can love him even in this state. Then along comes Belle, a beautiful, but slightly peculiar girl, whose love of her father finds herself prisoner to the Beast’s castle for life. In this enchanted castle, full of magical objects and dear friends, “Beauty and the Beast’s” famous love story unfolds.
Embodying Belle’s strong yet gentle personality, Chelsea Smith’s beautiful voice rang clear and pure from the stage to the hearts of the audience. As the Beast, Dean Maldonato, added his own flair to the character, taking on a more sullen teenager personality, that actually fits the background of the Prince. Yusuf Alizo, also added his own flair to Gaston, heightening the energy every time he walked on stage.
With Brennan Bridger as Lumiere, Michael Lichstrahl as Cogsworth, and Kathryn Blair as Mrs. Potts, the objects of the enchanted castle worked together as a cohesive unit, playing off each other’s energy and comedic timing. They displayed their own developed characterization during “Human Again” and Bridger truly shined as Lumiere in “Be our Guest.”
Vocally, the cast worked seamlessly combining the right amount of emotion and direction, however the physicality was a bit far behind. The strong vocal acting was seen through great musical numbers, like “Gaston” and “Belle,” supported by an energetic ensemble. Featured Dancers also displayed true talent and versatility, with Nikki Custodio as the “Rug” and Angie Vergel de Dios as the “Russian.”
The sets were detailed and lifelike, and the use of drinking mugs in the choreography was an excellent use of props and effects. The costumes were well executed and fitted, especially for such a large cast. The colorful dresses of all the “Silly Girls” also added a layer of interest to the performance.
With true vocal talent and an energetic ensemble, South County’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” was a truly heartwarming production.