p.m., March 5)
Peter Players production a musical feast
St. Peter Players are performing the Disney musical 'Beauty and the Beast' all
this week in the cafetorium of St. Peter High School on Charlemagne Blvd. Fred
I get to my review of the St. Peter Players production of Beauty and the
Beast, I should admit that I am one of the few parents of multiple children
who has never read the book or seen the movie.
knew about the story, of course, but I had never actually read it
or seen it until Wednesday night when I went to the opening of the St. Peter Players
production of the Disney musical.
those of you who dont know, the story of Beauty and the Beast
revolves around two main characters the beautiful Belle and the prince
who has been turned into a hideous beast by an enchantress who he rebuffed when
she asked to take shelter in his castle in exchange for a rose. The spell cast
on the prince extended to everyone living in the castle who were slowly turning
into inanimate objects.
casting the spell, the enchantress left behind a rose. If the prince could somehow
convince someone to fall in love with him before the last petal fell off the rose,
the spell would be broken.
on in the play, Belles father Maurice gets lost on his way to a fair and
stumbles upon the princes castle. When the Beast discovers him inside the
castle, he locks him in a dungeon.
Belle discovers that her father is missing she goes to find him and in doing so
stumbles upon the castle as well. In exchange for her fathers freedom, Belle
agrees to remain at the castle forever.
presence sends a wave of excitement through the castles servants who are
slowly turning into inanimate objects. They realize that if the prince can somehow
fall in love with Belle and she reciprocates his feelings, they will all be freed
from the spell. But back in the village, the plays villain, Gaston, has
hatched a plan to force Belle to marry him by having Maurice locked in an asylum.
the course of time the Beast slowly falls in love with Belle, but he is afraid
to tell her for fear that she will reject him.
Gaston finds out about the Beast he rounds up the villagers to go kill him. In
the end it is Gaston who is killed and Belle confesses her love for the Beast
which immediately breaks the spell.
The story contains
all the elements of a classic fairy tale mystery, suspense, romance, and
above all else a happy ending. But to truly bring the story to life you need actors
and singers who can deliver. Fortunately the St. Peter Players production was
blessed with several outstanding voices starting with Lydia Barrett who played
St. Peter Players are production of 'Beauty and the Beast' features Lydia Barrett
as Belle and Charles Douglas as the Beast. Fred Sherwin/Photo
performance of A Change in Me was absolutely spell-binding. Charles
Douglas, who plays the Beast, was also superb, although the audience didnt
get to hear him until midway through the play.
the pair were almost as magical as the story itself. Interestingly enough, their
two older siblings, Hannah Barrett and Stuart Douglas, played the romantic leads
in the St. Peter Players 2004 production of Les Misérables
which is still one of the best plays the company has ever presented.
the other lead actors, Austrian exchange student Robin Jentys was terrific as
Lumiére, as was Michael Heney, who played Cogsworth, but Amber Forgie was
off the charts as Babette. Her performance was deserving of three bravos. And
while she doesnt have very many lines, St. Peter Player veteran Sarah MacDonald
can be proud of her performance as the wardrobe which was a delight despite its
as well to Kyle Aubrecht-Kerr who had the unenviable task of portraying the dastardly
Gaston. Of all the roles in Beauty and the Beast it is by far the
most complex, requiring the right mix of bravado, obnoxiousness and arrogance
without being too far over the top. Aubrecht-Kerr played the role to a T
and was in fine voice as well.
remainder of the cast included Sarah Algozino as Mrs. Potts, Eric Kavcic as Chip,
Ryan Binsell as Le Fou, Alanna Bale as the Enchantress, Sean Payton-Stewart as
Maurice and Jessyca Lalumiere, Denise St. Pierre and Siobhan Kelly as the lovestruck
village girls, who did a stellar job as well. But the unsung stars of the production
were the members of the orchestra who were on top of their game during Wednesdays
of the things that has separated past St. Peter productions from other high school
plays has been their costuming, set design, and sound which were extraordinary
no review of Beauty and the Beast would be complete without commenting
on the big ensemble numbers, Be Our Guest and The Mob Song.
The choreography was top notch during both pieces, especially considering the
number of people who were on the stage, and the songs were well-delivered by the
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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