A Beautiful and Captivating Musical; Beauty and the Beast

Lauren Retkovis and Tyler Schulz , Entertainment/ News Writers

Kingsway Regional High School students presented a tale as old as time on the evenings of March 7th, 8th, and 9th. Directed by Jon Dalton, the musical Beauty and the Beast was based on the classic Walt Disney Film and even had the songs that all people know today. Some of the many amazing songs that people recognized if they saw the show would be “Belle,” “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” and “Beauty and the Beast.” The musical also introduced a variety of new songs such as “Home,” “A Change in Me,”  “No matter What, Me,” and many more.

 The cast featured the many talented high school performers. In this familiar tale, a young prince, despite his riches and company, is arrogant and unloving.  So, an enchantress disguises herself as an old woman and asks for shelter from the prince the night of a bad storm. When the prince turns her away, the enchantress places a spell on him, his servants, and his castle.  The Beast, played by Timothy Reynolds, and company remain enchanted until he learns to love and be loved in return.  a Senior, Gabrielle Allen, played the main character Belle who falls in love with the Beast. Belle is a girl who dreams of a life far greater than the one she had at the village where she lived. When Belle comes to the castle, she meets the Beast and many enchanted characters who include  Mrs. Potts, played by Marie Altmann, Lumiere, played by Andrew Hermansen, and Cogsworth, played by Sean Barr. All three of the characters are trying to push the Beast and Belle together in order to break the curse. Also competing for Belle’s affection is village brute Gaston, played by Joey Ramirez. Accompanied by his sidekick Le Fou, played by Robert Wiscount, Gaston tries to woo Belle into marrying him. In the end Belle breaks the curse and the Beast and all objects in the castle become human again.

The performance caught the interest of many; a few nights, tickets sold out! Students passing the Eitel Theater during the school day could catch a glimpse of the beautiful prop displays. Chandeliers made of cutlery hung from the ceiling, and gorgeous stained glass decals were placed on the North Main Office windows. Passing by the display daily caught the attention of many, and the suspense leading up to the performance grew more and more every day.

On the nights of the show, audiences were astounded by the performance. It was obvious the amount of time and effort put into each aspect of the musical. For instance, a large prop that demonstrated the Beast’s castle included the hand-painting of at least one hundred bricks! It was impossible to compare the colorful costumes to the detailed props. This aspect that the musical portrayed definitely was noticed as a main takeaway from the show. Actor Chris Mollo, who had played Belle’s father, stated that the “…costumes were very vibrant and fit the tone of the musical perfectly, while the props and sets brought the story to life on stage.”

However, not only was the show appealing to the eye, but the music, singing, and perfectly memorized lines rang true through the theater. Mollo continued to describe the role, saying that “It was a great experience. I got to explore a new branch of music that I haven’t tried before and I really got to express myself through the character on stage.” Furthermore, Lumiere, played by Andrew Hermansen, shared his thoughts on the importance of music itself: “…I believe that music is a necessity in life…it provides people with a new perspective on how life should be viewed…music provides a sense of freedom…It is one’s great escape but overall it is the way that someone can truly be themselves. On stage it shows elegance and security that one sings for their passion.”

Ultimately, the Kingsway performance of Beauty and the Beast received outstanding reviews. It was shown through the characters’ performance and the ways in which they spoke of the musical that truly shows their love for Beauty and the Beast.