Sunday, September 21, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a feast for ears and eyes

By
From page A8 | March 14, 2013 |

Hilary Maiberger as Belle and Darick Pead as Beast in Disney’s “Beauty and The Beast” presented by Broadway Sacramento at the Community Center Theater. Joan Marcus/Courtesy photo

That’s the ticket

What: “Beauty and the Beast”

Where: Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L St.

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday

Tickets: $19-$86

Info: 916-557-1999

There were a lot of sleepy little princesses leaving the Sacramento Community Center Theater on opening night of “Beauty and the Beast.” This is a sure-fire kid pleaser and, given the number of people in the audience without children in tow, it is equally enjoyable for kids of all ages.

It’s a tale as old as time: She’s the daughter of the crazy, old, town inventor, ridiculed by the townsfolk for her bookishness and her dreams of finding her prince charming. He’s a prince with a curse on his head, hiding his hideous form away in a creepy old castle, feared by the townsfolk because he’s “different.” The two outcasts find each other, fall in love and live happily ever after.

The touring company of the Tony Award-winning “Beauty and the Beast,” directed by Rob Roth, is a big, bold, opulent production that had everyone totally captivated. The man behind me was a big, loud laugher and I wondered if he’d ever attended a theatrical production before.

Director Roth has managed to tell the simple love story with just enough glitz to keep it moving crisply and always entertaining, but never detracting from the message of seeing truth beneath physical appearance, or discovering the redemptive power of love.

“Beauty and the Beast” was last on the CMT stage in 2000 but there have been some changes over the years. Primarily, I missed the increasingly intricate costumes of the household staff as they come closer and closer to becoming permanent pieces of furniture. Other than Cogsworth, the clock, acquiring a wind-up key, there was no change in any of the other costumes.

I was also disappointed to note that if you didn’t know “Babette” was supposed to be a feather duster, you would be hard-pressed to figure that out, based on her costume. But those are small complaints.

“Beauty and the Beast” is a technician’s dream, with lavish sets by Stanley A. Meyer that flew in from above, rolled in from the wings, swiveled on turntables or just hung there looking every bit like the real thing. And then there were the special effects — candles that ignited at a moment’s notice, sparkles, flashes, strobe lights, a headless kid who didn’t develop legs until the finale, and a transformation from Beast to Prince that would have done David Copperfield proud.

The lighting design of Natalie Katz, however, was often too dark and made it difficult to see what was going on on stage. (If I didn’t know how Gaston met his end, I would not have been able to tell from what I could see on stage.) Likewise, the sound of John Petrafesa Jr. needed serious tweaking. Many of the conversations between Belle and the Beast were unable to be heard over the orchestra.

Hilary Maiberger is delicious as Belle, the spunky heroine, who, to save her father’s life, agrees to live in the castle of the Beast forever. Maiberger is not only a beautiful singer but is no slouch in the dancing department either.

Darick Pead as the Beast is fierce and then endearingly tender as his love for Belle grows. His “If I Can’t Love Her” was beautifully poignant.

Joe Hager, as the town hunk, Gaston, the muscle-bound fool who is determined to marry Belle, swaggers onto the stage like a combination of Jethro Clampet and Li’l Abner. He’s the villain you love to hate, and as male chauvinists go, none can hold a candle to this Gaston.

His hapless foil, Maurice (Jimmy Larkin) was a delight, with a body made of rubber as he is routinely whacked about the stage by Gaston.

The supporting players are a marvelous collection of cartoonesque characters. Cogsworth (James May) the fussbudget clock, and Lumiere (Hasan Nazari-Robati), the candlestick holder, nearly steal the show with their antics and groaners like “You’ve cut me to the wick.” They are balanced nicely by Erin Edelle, as Mrs. Potts, the teapot, along with her son Chip (played on opening night by Gabriel L. Reis). (There is a nice bit where Mrs. Potts carries her son on a tray across the stage.)

There are some gems in the smaller roles, particularly Jessica Lorion as Babette, the feather duster, and Shani Hadhan as Madame de la Grande Bouche. Taylor D. Colleton, Amanda Grace Holt and Stephanie Moskai as the three silly girls swooning for Gaston are likewise delightful.

The score by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, from a book by Linda Woolverton, will be familiar to anyone who has seen the Disney animated feature that was the basis for this show. There are six new songs added for the stage, with lyrics by Tim Rice, plus another song (“Human Again”) with lyrics by Ashman, that was cut from the movie.

Choreography by Matt West is a delight. It’s not easy to design for dancing pieces of furniture, but West does well and the familiar “Be Our Guest” is a show-stopper. Lesser known musically, “Gaston,” a drinking song with intricate moves involving beer steins, is absolutely fabulous, and perhaps my favorite number in the show.

This show will make anyone believe that miracles do happen, that people can live happily ever after and that inner beauty can tame the beast.

Comments

comments

.

News

Elementary school counselors: necessary, but poorly funded

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
 
Bet Haverim hosts High Holy Day services

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

Teams assess damage as wildfire burns

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Driver arrested for DUI after Saturday morning crash

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Help raise funds for juvenile diabetes cure

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Jewelry, art for sale at Senior Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Davis Community Meals needs cooks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Send kids to camp!

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Da Vinci awarded $38,000 for restorative justice program

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Hawk Hill trip planned Sept. 30

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
UC campus chancellors granted hefty pay raises

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Outdoor yoga marathon celebrates community

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Wise words

By Sue Cockrell | From Page: A12

 
.

Forum

Awareness is key to this fight

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Where is this going?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A6

We’re living in the Golden State of emergency

By Debra DeAngelo | From Page: A6

 
Options for protection come with flu season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Are we there yet? Not enough hours in the day to goof off

By Tanya Perez | From Page: A6Comments are off for this post

 
Archer will get my vote

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

It’s time for Davis Scouts to stand up for what is right

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Mike Keefe cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

Building something at schools’ HQ

By Our View | From Page: A10

 
Don’t sell city greenbelt

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Paso Fino project is flawed

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

 
Paso Fino — it’s not worth it

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
Maybe David can beat Goliath again

By Lynne Nittler | From Page: A11 | Gallery

.

Sports

DHS gets on its Morse to beat Edison

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV Blue Devils drop low-scoring affair

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B2

 
Wire briefs: Giants rally falls short in San Diego

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Four local swimmers qualify for Olympic Trials

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Republic FC’s fairy tale season continues

By Evan Ream | From Page: B3 | Gallery

‘We’re a way better team’ than record, says UCD’s Shaffer

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
UCD roundup: Aggie men pound Pomona-Pitzer in the pool

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B4

Davis 15-year-old making a splash in European F4 series

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

‘Ladies Foursome’ adds shows

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
.

Business

UCD grad’s startup earns kudos at TechCrunch event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Styles on target for November debut

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7

MBI hires VP of marketing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Taylor Morrison unveils new Woodland community next weekend

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Rob White: What is an ‘innovation center’?

By Rob White | From Page: A9

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, September 21, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8