Review: Disney's Beauty & the Beast - a voice for those who are different

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Beauty and the Beast

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 
Book by Linda Woolverton
Music by Alan Menken
Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
Directed by Andrew Coopman
Music Direction by Mark Press
Choreography by Molly Hall
Edmonds Driftwood Players
November 24 – December 17, 2017

Review by Doug Gochanour
Photos courtesy Driftwood Players
A musical tale of LOVE leading to REDEMPTION

Edmonds Driftwood Players is now in its 59th season. This is a remarkable accomplishment. It has been bringing excellence of live theatre to Edmonds since 1958.

Be our guest!

For this holiday season, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast lights up the stage with a glimmering performance, rich with singing and dancing and drama. The costumes are colorful and so creative. The set is remarkably adaptive to the various scene requirements. It all adds up to a very special evening of quality entertainment.

An Enchantress (Callie Nissing) dressed as an old hag, asks a prince (Joshua Pulley) to allow her to take shelter from a storm. Upon his nasty refusal, she transforms him into a very hideous beast. It is punishment for his cold-hearted, selfish attitude. In order to return to his former self, he must earn the love of a beautiful young woman. He becomes a nasty, bitter recluse instead.

Belle loves to read
Belle (Liz Oyama) is a quiet, introverted young woman, who enjoys reading books more than socializing. So, she is also considered “different” than the norm by her villagers.

Gaston (Jimmi Cook) is an uber-macho, arrogant, dominant male, who finds a reluctant Belle much more attractive than the many young women pursuing him. She presents more of a challenge to him. He enjoys dancing and flirting with all the young women of the village.

Belle visits her father in prison
Belle’s father (James Cheek) manages to get himself imprisoned in the dungeon at the prince’s castle. She offers to exchange herself as the prisoner, to allow her father to go free.

The Enchantress also transformed the castle staff into household objects with some human characteristics. These objects include a clock, a light, a cooking pot, a teacup, and a dresser. They are each very amusing, as they work together to overcome their plight. They welcome Belle into the castle singing “be our guest” in elaborate production number. They hope she is the catalyst for positive change in the Beastly prince.

Gaston dances and flirts

Belle and the prince seem to overcome their reluctance to find romance, as they share a dinner and a dance. But life is not that simple, especially in a Disney tale. Come enjoy this talented cast and find out how it all comes together.

Will the villagers accept those they see as different? Can Gaston accept Belle’s refusal of his marriage proposal? Will the prince and his household objects regain their normal lives? Can we appreciate the voice this play gives to those who are different, and who have been experiencing oppression?


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