Theatre review by Steve Duffy –
A family musical based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated film, Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST follows a young woman who stumbles upon a secluded castle occupied by a monstrous beast and a host of enchanted objects trying to break a witch’s spell before it is too late. It is a classic romantic story about finding love in unexpected places.
Stephen Cerf spends the entire show buried under an amazingly elaborate Beast costume. This may have been the cause of a few mic problems. Under it all, I believe there is a rich baritone voice trying to get out. Cerf does a great job transforming from beast to a person who actually cares about the people around him.
Rose Hemingway is perfectly delightful and engaging as Belle. Her singing voice could have easily removed the enchanted spell. NSMT favorite David Coffee, as Belle’s papa, Maurice, is always a joy to watch and hear.
Benjamin Howes stands out for his portrayal of Lumiere. Phillip Taratula plays Cogsworth. He was articulate and delivered his lines with the perfect blend of humor, irony, and sarcasm.
As Mrs. Potts, Christiane Noll’s rendition of the titular song is reminiscent and as charming as Angela Lansbury’s original.
Taylor Crousore is humorous and one-dimensional as the masculine and vain Gaston. Andrew Kruep is equally as humorous as Gaston’s sidekick.
The set is kept simple and props minimal. The brilliant and colorful costumes look like they cost an entire annual budget.
Beauty and the Beast has a lot of heart – this is definitely a show not to miss!
This is the perfect show to introduce the next generation to the magic of live theatre.
Running Time: 2 hrs 40 min (includes intermission)
Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST playing at North Shore Music Theatre thru July 30, 2017. Tickets $57 – $82 – Kids save 50% at all shows. For tickets call (978) 232-7200, visit www.nsmt.org, or visit the box office in person at 62 Dunham Rd., Beverly, MA.