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Belle and the Price invite you to be our guest and step into an enchanted world as we present Disney's Beauty and the Beast - June 29-August 20, 2017.
Disney's first stage adaptation captivated Broadway audiences for 13 years with its magnificent music, beautiful costumes, and elaborate sets. Now, one of our most popular shows ever, Beauty and the Beast returns to the LaComedia stage just after the release of the new live-action movie remake.
by Mike Woody
Imagine if you will a French accent or at least a good singing voice…my apologies to the women if I make you swoon…..
Every man, woman and child, be sure to grab a seat
As you won’t want to miss this special treat.
There is food, catchy songs, lots of dance and plus Gaston.
Be our Guest! Be our Guest!
There’s soufflé, Norwegian cod, and fresh carved roast beef…so many tasteful blessings,
I’ve yet to even mention the salad topped with the papaya chutney dressing.
The meal is just the start,
It’s not even the best part,
Even with the bread cart.
The show is the real main event
It is worth every single cent.
Even if you’ve seen it on the big silver screen
This may be the most enjoyable version ever seen.
Be our Guest! Be our Guest!
You not only get a delicious feast,
But also see Beauty and the Beast!
You may return to your normal reading voice now, unless you ladies are really digging the French thing, then please continue…Wi Wi. With the recent theatrical release of the live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ it’s both brilliant and also a little risky to offer the staged version. Comparisons are sure to be made, but I believe La Comedia’s production more than lives up to the challenge. The entire cast and the staging are superb and creates its own identity.
As Belle, Stephanie Windland is as magical as Emma Watson ever was as Hermione…umm, what other role did she recently play? I forget. She is sweet, yet also courageously strong and of the utmost importance, wears yellow really well. Her vocals are also splendid as her performance serves as a reminder of why Belle is my favorite Disney Princess.
Her counterpart, the Beast, Ben-David Carlson, has a bark far worse than his bite, but devours the role. While Carlson excels most at the moments when the Beast is mild, his scenes of ferociousness are stellar as well. Beneath the rough exterior is just a wounded soul seeking the comfort of love, which is portrayed perfectly.
While the muscles of Gaston are an impressive pair, the duo that really steals the show is Lumiere (Josiah Miller) and Cogsworth (Micah Sauvageau). They each totally embody their roles and provide some comic relief. Miller really lights up the stage as Lumiere and shows some flashes of brilliance. There’s certainly a spark whenever he’s on stage. The same can be said for Savageau whose timing as Cogsworth is spot on. He is perfectly wound for the role.
There is also of course, ‘everyone’s favorite guy,’ Gaston (Drew Stairs). There’s nobody fuller of themselves than Gaston. The greatness of the character is best displayed during the song ‘Gaston,’ which is amongst the highlights musically. Much of the credit goes to the ensemble, whose rhythm with the drinking cups is worthy of many Cheers. The choreography for the scene is top notch. Plus, wherever Gaston is, LeFou (Colin Cranstoun) is never very far behind, and usually getting knocked down.
‘Beauty & The Beast’ holds the distinction of being a rare musical in which more than one song leaves an impression on me. I’m more of a plot guy, with the music just an accessory, but with ‘Be Our Guest’, ‘Beauty and The Beast,’ and ‘Gaston’ the music takes center stage. All are exceptionally done here, with ‘Be Our Guest’ offering a full smorgasbord of visual delicatessens. It is certainly a grand production. The amount of bravado for ‘Be Our Guest’ is equaled in simplicity and greatness for ‘Beauty and the Beast’ by Mrs. Potts (Veronica Decker). Decker pours just the right amount of sugar into the song for a perfect level of sweetness and it will warm your insides.
Credit must also be given to the stage design crew for providing a believable looking castle and all the set pieces are transitioned nicely. The costumes are also all very well done. Everything about ‘Beauty and The Beast’ is wonderful so Be a Guest at La Comedia and don’t miss the show, which continues through August 20.
Mike Woody is a life long resident of Dayton, and has a passion for writing, which is good because he doesn't excel at much of anything else, except eating.
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