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BWW Review: DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at The Belmont Theatre

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Production runs from November 19th through 28th

BWW Review: DISNEY'S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at The Belmont Theatre

When attempting to produce a classic show where audience members not only know the story but can sing along with all the songs, theatre companies are left with only two choices: one, do something unique and unexpected, or two, stick to the script and knock it out of the park. Fortunately for audience members, the Belmont Theatre's production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast is a most spectacular experience of stunning visual effects, outstanding vocal talents, professional costuming, and wildly creative set design.

The beloved story of Beauty and the Beast tells the enchanted tale of a misunderstood Belle and her cursed Prince. After cruelly rejecting a woman in need, the prince is transformed into a monstrous beast never to be human again unless he finds love and is loved in return. Years later, a young girl (Belle) storms into his castle searching for her father and finds herself trapped in the castle, forced to stay with the beast in exchange for her fathers freedom. After befriending the enchanted castle servants, Belle begins to see the good in the beast and is set on love's path that will break the spell and set them all free.

With changing settings from the town, the tavern, Belle's home, the forest, and the castle, set designer and director Rene Staub masterfully created the necessary illusion with the help of projection technology and Judi Miller's lighting design. The creative and beautiful sets were clearly constructed by master carpenters (led by Joel Persing). As the first standout of the show, the sets, while truly impressive, were not the only "Wow" factor.

Finding so many amazingly talented individuals at the community theatre is what keeps people coming back to the Belmont. Faith Wentworth's Belle was endearing. Her portrayal was as stunning as her vocal talent and matched nicely with her costars. Wesley Hemmann's Gaston was just the right amount of ego and bravado while Daniel Poole's tortured Beast danced between angry monster and disheartened man. Two talented individuals, who nearly stole the show, were Drew Derreth and Christopher Quigley. Derreth's portrayal of Lumiere, alongside Quigley's Cogsworth, added a wonderful level of humor and joy. The real thief of the night, however, was Chip. Played by Harper Cameron, with creative costuming and a big smile, Chip is as adorable as you would want.

Other standout performances cannot go unmentioned. Lindy Keefe (Mrs. Potts), Libby Burgess (Madame De La Grande Bouche), and Amanda Richard (Babette) brought their beautiful vocal talents and acting ability to this show. Robert Eisenhower's Maurice was spot on, portraying a gentle and kind father for audiences to love. Providing comic relief, Curtis Druck's Lefou is hysterical with great physical comedy and timing.

There is so much going right with this show. With its fun choreography (Sarah Flynn), amazing dancers (the wolves were a favorite), and remarkable costumes supporting this talented cast, The Belmont Theatre's Beauty and the Beast is a must see! For more information on this and future show, visit https://thebelmont.org/


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