“Beauty and also the Beast”: An epic fairy tale, an epic (Oscar-winning) film, and also an epic theater manufacturing that ran on Broadway for 13 years.
You are watching: Beauty and the beast at the fox
That’s rather a reputation to live increase to, and also while Broadway by The Bay’s just-opened production has actually some sweet and magical moment — and superbly soaring music — it’s additionally fragmented, slipshod and also woefully challenging to hear clearly.
One omnipresent problem is sloppy curtain work. Curtains rise and also fall, yet when they’re going under they soil apart (giving a height at what’s going on behind the curtain), or castle come down all the way on one side, only halfway ~ above the other. On opening night the wasn’t unexplained to watch a stagehand close up door the curtains through hand. And, as with Broadway by The Bay’s last production, backstage sight lines to be visible for this reason stagehands are frequently seen moving about offstage. (That’s wherein black curtains space needed.)
“Beauty and also the Beast” is a vast undertaking, and the Fox Theatre in Redwood City is the best venue for it. For this reason it’s to Broadway by The Bay’s credit transaction that that tackled the beast. Plus: This production has actually some exorbitant actors, every the more inspiring offered that there are no equity actors amongst them.
But together both director and also scenic designer, Kelly James Tighe may have actually taken on as well much. By contrast, Sean Kana’s large orchestra is first-rate, and also Adam Elsberry mirrors sparkling originality in creating the high-stepping choreography.
It also helps the a perky little sprite named Anya Absten is the quintessential Belle, “Beast’s” lovely heroine.She is sassy, genuine and also a pleasure to watch. And also that voice! Belle-issimo!
Her two male costars, muscular, bodaciously charming john Melis as arrogant villain Gaston, and also rumpled, sincere Daniel Barrington Rubio together the inside conflicted Beast, space both strong in your roles and excellent singers (though Rubio appeared to it is in hindered by vocal concerns on opening night).
The second tier of sustaining actors is equally as strong, none more so 보다 Maureen Duffey Frentz together the soon-to-become-a-teapot, Mrs. Potts, along with her tiny chip-off-the-old-block, kid Chip (8-year-old increasing star Liam Kimhi). Warren Wernick is a comedian par excellence together Gaston’s hapless sidekick, Lefou, and also Brendon North renders a suave, sexy, illuminating Lumiere. Unfortunately, both North and also Jocelyn Pickett, his fiery feather-duster love husband Babette, are complicated to understand because their French accents are too thick and they spoke as well rapidly. In your case, it’s fortunate the their racy action speak louder 보다 words.
Other well supporting functions are rotate in by amiable ray D’Ambrosio together the unfortunate Cogsworth, the head of the household who’s turning into a clock, and also Jasen Jeffrey together Belle’s eccentric inventor dad Maurice. At times, though, Jeffrey’s soft singing voice is drowned out by the orchestra.
Most of the shadow play and also puppetry functions fine, although the prologue scene wherein the young prince turns away one old beggar woman, just to be changed by her into the beast, is overdone (and oversized) so it’s most likely some kids in the audience were frightened. (It additionally looks a small hokey.)
But last Friday’s audience seemed quite satisfied with this variation (other 보다 intermission grumbling about not hearing few of the performers). Definitely the “magic” in action 2 is, indeed, mysterious and exciting. And also some that the massive set pieces watch enchanting and also castle-worthy (although the Beast’s red – not check out – library is outlandish).
Costume developers Angela F. Lazear and also Leandra Watson kept their needles busy producing the bountiful 18th century outfits for “Beast’s””large (26-member) cast, v ensemble members play multiple roles. Belle’s beauteous ball gown in act 2 is aptly princess-like, and also the townspeople’s clothing constantly look authentic. One quibble could be the disappointing, unkempt outfit the beast-turned-prince attract in the final scene.
And then there’s the musical score, obviously a far-ranging part that this show’s charm. With pleasing music by Alan Menken and understandable lyrics by Howard Ashman and also Tim Rice, “Beast” shines with, of course, the well-loved title song, the self-congratulatory “Gaston” (sung, the course, through Gaston himself), the hauntingly sweet “Something There” and “Human Again,” and also the well-loved favorite, “Be our Guest.”
“Guest” allows nearly the entire actors to take on various personas, numerous of which room the half-human, half-household objects in the Beast’s castle. In many productions, a big table the delicious dishes comes lively – constantly an audience favorite. For some reason Tighe opted instead to do “Be our Guest” into a bevy the gorgeous chorus girls, numerous can-can dancing, and, a fireworks-studded finishing featuring a shimmering yellow fringe curtain (reminiscent the “A Chorus Line”) and more high steppers. Spectacular yes, yet the person dishes room so associated with this number the it seems a transgression not to include them.
It’s come Broadway by The Bay’s credit that it has announced 2 special performances of “Beast.” The 2 p.m. Present on Saturday, Nov. 19, will be understood using American sign Language (ASL) because that the hearing impaired, and on Sunday, Nov. 20, a distinct 7 p.m. Power is a fundraiser for Autism Speaks and is labeled as “autism friendly” on the show’s website.
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What: “Beauty and the Beast”Produced by: Broadway by The BayWhere: Fox Theatre, 2215 Broadway St., Downtown Redwood CityWhen: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and SundaysThrough: Nov. 20Tickets: $47-69; 650-579-5565, www.broadwaybythebay.org