Kids invited to play dress up
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is the first full-length animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award. Then the folks at Disney brought the story to life on Broadway, where it has been attracting audiences for over ten years. Now, the Santa Clarita Regional Theatre, brings this “tale as old as time” to life on the stage at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center at College of the Canyons for a limited four weekend run. This beautifully mounted production, under the direction of TimBen Boydston and Patti Finley, features a dazzling set, colorful costumes, a very talented cast and magical special effects.
The familiar French fairy tale tells about an arrogant young prince who turns away an old woman seeking shelter in this castle. She turns into a beautiful enchantress and casts a spell on the prince turning him into an ugly beast until such time as he can demonstrate true love and be loved in return. The enchantress not only transforms the prince, but all of his servants as well. Belle (Hallie Sager) is a village girl who loves to read and is considered “odd” by the rest of the villagers in her provincial town. Belle spurns the marriage proposal made by the vain and villainous Gaston (Billy Davis) who vows to have her for his wife, no matter what. Belle’s slightly dotty inventor father, Maurice (Jymn Magon), wanders into the Beast’s castle and is taken prisoner by the Beast (George M. Chavez II). Belle finds him there and exchanges her freedom for his. When Gaston finds out about the Beast in the woods, he whips the frightened villagers into an angry mob who storm the castle. The Beast is a frightening, but ultimately lovable character. Belle sees the man within the Beast and gradually develops feelings for him which result is his amazing transformation.
The principals also include Tamarah Ashton-Coombs as Mrs. Potts (the housekeeper who is turning into a Teapot), Kelly Roberts as Lumiere (the very French Maitre D’ who becomes a Candelabra), Ed Hill as Cogsworth (the officious English Major Domo who is becoming a mantle clock), Joy Norton as Babette (the French maid who is turning into a Featherduster), Sean Kelly as Chip (Mrs. Potts’ teacup son), and Mari Miranda Madame De La Grand Bouche (the opera singer who becomes a Wardrobe). Gaston’s silly sidekick, Lefou, is played by Eleazar Del Rosario.The film’s Oscar-winning score has been enhanced with several new songs which are beautifully written and sung, and the musical numbers by the large ensemble leave a lasting impression. “Be Our Guest” is a lavish cabaret-style production number that has audiences cheering and the tavern scene introducing Gaston has to be seen to be believed with another show-stopping musical number. The story about one man’s loss of humanity and his journey to reclaim it is a deeply moving tale which provides an evening of solid family entertainment. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” runs from July 28 through August 19, with performances on Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2 PM. There will be Saturday matinees at 2 PM on August 11 & 18. Tickets are available through the Canyon Theatre Guild’s box office at (661) 799-2702.
Youngsters under the age of twelve may participate in a costume contest when attending the show in a costume from the play. They will be entered into a drawing for free tickets to a Family Season production at the Canyon Theatre Guild.