Tuscarora High School
The adage states that beauty is found on the inside. What better way to portray that message than through a fairytale of adventure, magic, and love? Woodgrove High School must have agreed with this, as they took on the challenge of Beauty and the Beast. This commendable interpretation of the classic French fairytale had "Something There" for every audience member to enjoy.
The story follows Belle, a young woman trapped by the limits of her village, dreaming of a life like the ones she finds in books. When her father is taken captive by a hideous beast, she must sacrifice her own freedom for his and give up the possibility of a future outside the castle walls. Inside the castle, however, is a fairytale world that sweeps Belle into its magic. She must face becoming the heroine of her own story and discover the beauty inside before it's too late.
Lauren Bogle brought a unique defiance to the demure character of Belle. This allowed her to match Jonathan Heinze's loud and dominating Gaston. Heinze threw himself into the role, with a humorous character voice and "biceps to spare!" The Beast (Jonathan Wilkerson) was another standout, compensating for the limited expression possible in a mask by adjusting his vocal inflection based on the situation. He went from a gruff growl in Act I to a softer, gentler tone by Act II. This brought across his character arc clearly, despite a masked face. He also created a relationship with Belle that continued even after his transformation into the handsome Prince (Kevin Crandall).
The leading enchanted servants were all excellent, adding a lighthearted energy to the show. Lumiere (Lukas D'Errico) and his outrageous accent carried even the slowest of numbers while the Wardrobe (Georgia Peake) brought down the house with her beautiful voice. The ensemble shone in high energy scenes, such as the final battle, and their pretty vocals were a lovely addition to the performance.
The costume team made many costumes themselves, adding a whimsical feel to the show. The thought that went into the costume design was clear, particularly in separating the rough, simple villagers from the magic of the Beast's castle. Matte fabrics such as cotton and linen appeared in the "provincial" village, while Belle's sparkling ball gown was the epitome of the elegance found in the magical world she discovered. This attention to detail was also found in the set. The storefronts featured in the opening scene paid homage to the original Disney cartoon, featuring the same shops as the opening number in the movie. Other detailed pieces included the hand-painted books in the library and the consistency of pallet wood used in the village set pieces.
Beauty and the Beast is a spectacular story of magic and romance, and Woodgrove HS's interpretation of the classic "tale as old as time" was one to be remembered.
Paul VI Catholic High School
Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time. Woodgrove High School brings the classic Disney story to the stage in their production of Beauty and the Beast.
Beauty and the Beast is a musical based on the Disney movie of the same name and features music and lyrics by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice. It premiered on Broadway in 1994 and ran until 2007, making it the tenth longest running Broadway production. Beauty and the Beast is based on the French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie LePrince de Beaumont. The story is one many know. A cruel prince is transformed into a hideous beast, cursed to remain that way until he can win the love of a woman whom he has imprisoned in his castle.
Lauren Bogle had a unique interpretation of the classic character, Belle. Her spunky attitude created a particularly memorable character. Bogle's vocals had that "princess" quality especially in "Is This Home?" Jonathan Wilkerson, as the Beast, used emotional vocals to compensate for lack of facial movement, as he was wearing a full mask. He and Bogle created a realistic relationship that evolved through the production culminating in the Act 2 duet, "Something There."
Gaston, played by Jonathan Heinze, was committed to his cocky character and never dropped his intense nature, especially in the high energy "Mob Song." LeFou, Gaston's bumbling sidekick, was played by the hilarious Sarah Rector. Rector was a delight to watch throughout the show as she was constantly engaged and always a bundle of goofy energy. She had a strong presence on the stage and impressive comedic timing, making her a highlight of the evening.
Lukas D'Errico was a "de-light" as Lumiere, the candlestick. His impeccable French accent and over-the-top antics had the audience in stitches. D'Errico also showcased impressive vocals in the fun "Be Our Guest." Overall D'Errico made the "flame-buoyant" character unforgettable. Other notable characters were Mrs. Potts played by Caroline Roden and the Wardrobe played by Georgia Peake. Roden was perfectly maternal as mother to the adorable Chip (Miranda Huffer). She also lent her beautiful voice to the title number, "Beauty and the Beast." Peake's gorgeous soprano and lovable Diva attitude made the smaller character of Wardrobe a standout.
Student constructed costumes by Lauren Bogle and Ellie Dillon were especially commendable. The garments were tailored well and creatively designed. The student orchestra, led by Senior director Caden Vandervort, was fantastic. The students performed the iconic numbers expertly and never overpowered the actors.
Woodgrove High School's production of Beauty and the Beast is full of heart and classic Disney charm, all while giving a tale as old as time new life on the high school stage.