Kay Bourne Arts Report – Issue #32

Contents

BEAUTY & THE BEAST DAZZLES

A PERFECT WINTER’S EVENING

FEELIN’ AT HOME IN FOXWOODS WITH CEDRIC

AA THEATRE FEST BRINGS AMAZING DRAMA

A RAISIN IN THE SUN SHINES IN JP

THE SWEET SOUNDS OF SWEET HONEY IN THE ROCK

POITIER SHARES PAIN AND TRIUMPH

AUGUST WILSON IN HALL OF FAME

CLASSIC EDDIE MURPHY FALLS SHORT

BOSTON FILM CRITIC SHARES OLD MOVIES WITH KIDS

UP-COMING EVENTS


BEAUTY & THE BEAST DAZZLES

by Kay Bourne

(Belle in the village – from Beauty and the Beast)

047aff41ac1575bb6b374ae3d017356e.124.82 Kay Bourne Arts Report   Issue #32On a frigid night, much like the icy weather we’ve been having this week, a decrepit beggar woman sought refuge from the cold in a palace deep in the woods.

The arrogant, self centered, thoroughly spoiled young prince, disliking her appearance, turned her away. The fairy, for that’s what she truly was, waved a wand becoming a lovely girl whom the prince then invited in. Too late! Enraged at his nasty behavior, the fairy put a spell on him and his castle: he became an ugly beast and all the people who worked for him became furniture and cutlery. The fairy put a single rose in a vase, in a niche in the wall. If someone could love the Beast before the last petal of the rose fell, the spell would be broken.

Wheelock Family Theater’s magical production of the Disney musical “Beauty & The Beast” makes an ideal afternoon outing during school vacation week or any upcoming weekend through MARCH 4. You’re promised a perfect time under the enchanted spell of good entertainment for little ones, ‘tweens, teens, and parents too.

Angela Williams, who sang “Aida” at Foothills and “The 60′s Project” at Goodspeed Opera House with Richard Maltby, is as fine a Belle as has ever graced the role of the Village girl who loves books more than appearances. She wins the Beast’s heart instantaneously. But, how can she come to adore a crude, mangy dictator? Doug Jabara is convincing as the Beast and you will luxuriate in his singing voice. Christopher Chew is fine as the egotistical Village youth, Gaston, sure that all the girls think he’s swell.

Other standouts in this excellent production are Gamalia Pharms as the house keeper Mrs. Potts, now a teapot, and her small son Chip, turned into a cup with a bit of the lip missing, played delightfully by Jeffery Sewell (Where are these child actors appearing in resident Equity companies these days coming from?!? They’re wonderful!). Robert Saoud is a marvelous Lumiere, the butler who is now a candle stick, as is Chip Phillips, the valet wound up tight in the guise of a grandfather clock. Mansur makes a wonderful doddering but loving Dad to Belle.

Then, taking note, doubtless of the great acting teacher Stanislovsky’s edict…’that there are no small roles, only small actors’, ensemble member W. Yvonne Murphy makes hay with her bit part as a thoroughly flustered Village girl with lusty lungs.

Wheelock veteran director Jane Staab has waved her wand vigorously to keep the show moving at a bright pace. She’s ably assisted by Laurel Stachowicz‘s peppy choreography. Matthew T. Lazure has provided marvelous costumes. Anita Fuchs‘ utilitarian set works perfectly to give a sense of where we are without overwhelming the action – her woods (and here she is aided immeasurably by lighting designer Stoney “d.r.” Cook) seem deep and treacherous.

There’s an excellent 7-piece live orchestra too, adroitly led by pianist Steven Bergman. The familiar score including such favorites as “Be Our Guest” and all the incidental music is under the persuasive hands of Bergman as Musical Director.

BEAUTY & THE BEAST ticket information


A PERFECT WINTER’S EVENING

by Kay Bourne

(click this image of Paulina (Bobbie Steinbach) comforting a repentant Leontes (Ricardo Pitts-Wiley) for ticket info)

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