by Lorie Lewis Ham
Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales–it teaches the moral that real beauty is on the inside. I have seen it performed on stage many times, most recently this past weekend presented by CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre. And who hasn’t seen the Disney movie.
There is so much to love about this story–not only the lesson about true beauty but also that it is okay to be different, as the Beast is not the only outcast in the story. Belle is an outcast in her town because she is not your typical woman of the time–she loves books, is independent, intelligent, and spunky. Her father is an eccentric inventor and is made fun of for being different. And yet they are the ones who end up with the happy ending, and truly it is Belle who is the hero of this story, along with the Beast’s staff who have all been turned into objects because of the curse on the Beast.
CenterStage Clovis has done a nice job of bringing this timeless story to life. The sets are well done, and the costumes are colorful and fun. The music is beautifully and perfectly sung, and the orchestra is amazing. Terry Lewis as Lumiere and Eric Estep as Cogsworth provide much of the comedic part of the show and they were both wonderful–the two have a nice chemistry and play well off each other. Another character that was absolutely hilarious was that of Gaston, played by Nick Netzley. He also has an amazing and powerful voice! His scenes were some of my favorites. Favorite songs of course are ones that have by now become classics, “Be Our Guest,” “Human Again,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Connor Barton as Gaston’s sidekick LeFou was also very funny and played well off of Nick.
Lorraine Christiansen as Belle sung every song perfectly, and looked stunning when she came out in that lovely yellow gown for her dance with the Beast. Isaac Ellis as the Beast has an equally beautiful and powerful voice, and conveyed well the heartbreak of the Beast in his song “If I Can’t Love Her.” He also did a good job portraying both the intimidating and vulnerable sides of the Beast.
If you are looking for a show to take the whole family to, don’t miss this classic. There’s something for the whole family–the kids will have so much fun, and the adults will laugh and enjoy all of the lovely music. This is a perfect family summer outing and it closes this weekend so hurry and get your tickets now.
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