April 17, 2013

Teen critic Curry on ‘Beauty and Beast’: A hit

Blumey teen critic competitor Malin Curry reviews ‘Beauty and the Beast’ at Covenant Day.

Covenant Day’s production of “Beauty and the Beast” is the crème de la crème.

Aside from a few quirky details that engendered modest laughter from the audience; details such as a tiny trike totting version of the character Chip, an autographed picture of the charming Gaston, and the dancing silhouettes of Belle and the Beast at the end of Act two to name a few. Every aspect of this play from the actors to the sets and the amazing voices of the cast lives up to the high standards set by the original Disney classic.

What make this play so captivating is not the grandiose sets, the acute actors, or the immaculate costumes. Surprisingly, it’s the choreography.

From the shuffle of the animated cutlery in Act one to the vintage ball room dance between Belle and the Beast in Act two, the cast of Beauty and the Beast never failed to engage the audience’s attention when they performed a jig.

Belle, played by Melody Goforth, mirrors every aspect of the animated Disney princess. It was surprising how much the two resemble one another, not only in physical features but harmonious timbres as well.

When Goforth’s counterpart, the horrendous “Beast” played by Chris Chase, issued his first line from underneath his monstrous costume I first thought him too soft for the role. He seemed too nice and not brash enough to play the haunted Beast. But, towards the end of Act one I began to see his character in a new light. One not so tightly bound with the shadowy past fans of the Beauty and the Beast animated feature are so accustomed to. Chase’s spins on the Beast adds a certain type of intrigue to his character, and ultimately makes his character’s development from a soulless monster to a lovable beast all the more interesting.

Perhaps the most captivating characters, however, were those belonging to the “enchanted objects” collection. When the whimsical Lumiere (played by Caleb Clarke) flaunted on stage alongside the uptight Cogsworth (played by KJ Fon-Ndikum) and delivered his first line the crowd responded with a hearty laughter that sounded for a good half of a minute.

Chip (played by Samantha Choi) surprised me the most as “his” high pitched voice fit the role of the curious little boy tea cup so perfectly it seemed un real.

Even the dance sequence, which included an assortment of swaying lamps, brooms, and even a couple shuffling pieces of china and cutlery was spot on.

The cast of Beauty and the Beast danced and sung in front of some of the most beautiful back drops I have ever seen. It was clear that an ample amount of time was put into the construction and beautification of the set. Particularly, The Beast’s castle, which housed the enchanted rose. The setting of this production looked as if it had jumped straight out of a classic movie.

Beauty and the Beast tells the story of a small town girl who finds solace and love with a hideous monster, while managing to incorporate its age old theme “beauty is not always skin deep.” And this it does extremely well.

This article is part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance (a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts) and the Blumenthal Student Critic Program.

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