Recently our family attended a fantastic stage production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Junior. It was held at C’s middle school and C was the narrator. Unfortunately I am unable to post photos of the production but it was outstanding.
When we walked in, I fully intended to see a great middle school or high school level production with goofy kids and obvious slip-ups that make the play so memorable and us parents so proud. I was so proud of all the performers and crew before it even began and was eager to see C in her role along with some of her friends and theatre family we had heard so much about in the weeks leading up to the performance. So now I bet you think this will be a biased account and feel that it was so special because C was in it…and it was, but even if your child wasn’t in the performance, the reviews were astonishingly positive. Most reviews claimed a near professional caliber performance.
When we entered the theatre portion of the school, I was pleasantly surprised with the theme music playing as we were seated. The music was familiar and immediately I was relating to the Disney movie. Once everyone had taken their seats, the production began with the narrator (YAY C!) who was a dark and serious character explaining how the beast came to be. Meanwhile we watched a shadow mime of the witch and spoiled young prince having the spell cast upon him turning him into the beast. It was an exciting version of the story, one that captured everyone’s attention including R and the other children in the crowd. The collective gasp at the spell casting was a dead giveaway that we were now a captivated audience.
The curtains closed as the narrator continued the tale with perfect musical transition allowing the townsfolk and Belle to make their entrance. The performance carried on with a much higher caliber than I was expecting with amazing costumes and props. A few of the performers even spoke with accents befitting their character while the enchanted castle and little village wove their own spell over the audience. The scene transitions were nearly flawless and the performers interacted slightly with the crowd simply by using the aisles as part of their stage during battle scenes.
The crowd laughed when they were supposed to and some cried when the beast was injured. None of the children around me were heard to utter anything resembling “I’m bored” or “when is it over”. In fact, during the intermission, many of the children were saying, “when is it going to start again?” This, to me, is a tell-tale sign of a successful performance. They deserved the standing ovations they received.
Take Care, D