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28Mar

Beauty and the Best @ Pennsauken H.S.

It’s a “tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme!” Pennsauken High School invites you to Be THEIR Guest at their production of “Beauty and the Beast!”

In 1994, Linda Woolverton brought her writing for the original animated classic to the stage! “Beauty and the Beast” premiered at the Palace Theater on April 18, 1994. Alan Menken rejoined the creative team from the original film, alongside collaborators Howard Ashman and Tim Rice for the lyrics. The tale as old as time ran for an incredible 13 years, making it the 10th longest-running show on Broadway. “Beauty and the Beast” tells the story of how Belle, a girl originally with the goal of simply saving her father, falls for the Beast and realizes that it’s what’s on the inside that matters most.

Pennsauken’s cast brought bounds of emotion and energy to every number. Whether the enthusiastic singing and dancing in “The Mob Song” or filing through the town in “Belle,” the whole cast stayed in character and had total concentration on the scene in front of them.

Brazil Taylor starred as Belle, and enchanted the audience with her beautiful tone and rich sound, made known in songs like “Is this Home?” and “A Change in Me." Taylor’s chemistry with each member of the cast was clear, whether it be with the rough Gaston, or her sweet waltz with the Beast. Concealed in haunted eyebrows and a thick mane of hair, Aiden Scott acted as the Beast. Scott’s belting was exemplary, and his character development truly grew throughout the show.

Though playing an illiterate fool with one main goal: to marry Belle, Tamar Welds acted and sang with passion and clarity. Welds’s rich baritone voice helped to portray the masculine man. Following him at all times were LeFou played by Ryan Vu and Les Filles de Ville (or the Silly Girls) played by Cassandra Marie Nicdao, Leilani Flores, and Mednisha Bull. Vu had excellent physical comedy, and frequently would throw himself around the stage. Les Filles de Ville were always squabbling and adding energy wherever they were. Inside the castle, Juliana Parrilla performed as Mrs. Potts. Parrilla’s rich vibrato was beautiful and well-displayed in “Beauty and the Beast” and “Be Our Guest.” “Human Again,” which featured the entire in-castle cast, showed off their synchronization and harmonization.

Pennsauken’s production took an interesting twist, setting the show in 1700s French Louisiana, and the costuming and sets reflected that. The costuming was filled with colorful corsets and silhouettes. The sets were modeled after New Orleans, featuring shotgun houses and stylized home fronts. Scene changes were quick, whether turning the castle into Belle’s room or completely shifting the village into the castle.

“Beauty and the Beast” at Pennsauken High School was a story that’s “bittersweet and strange, about "finding you can change” and “learning you were wrong.”

About the Author

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Flood-Orion, Jeffrey

Program Director - FY20 Season

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