As part of their 92nd season, titled “Full Pace Forward,” the Palo Alto Gamers — a nonprofit group theater group hosted blocks away from Stanford on the Lucie Stern Theater — have been displaying “Magnificence and the Beast” since Nov. 4.
Director Patrick Klein, who can also be the inventive director of the corporate, succeeded in creating an immersive fairytale and placing it to the stage. Whereas there have been some technical difficulties and faults, general, the present surpassed expectations as actors individually and collaboratively excelled.
Every selection actors made with their scene companions — whether or not that be Gaston and Belle, Belle and the Beast or the fortress furnishings and workers — felt genuine to the supply materials but distinctive to the actors. My favourite songs carried out had been the large ensemble acts: the Act I finale “Be Our Visitor,” which featured a constantly altering set and gold streamers on the finish, and “Gaston,” the place performers juggled props and included them into the dances.
Individually, the actors impressed too. Belle, performed by Sam Mills, had the correct quantity of kindness but willpower that any princess ought to have. Her sense of independence and maturity blossomed all through this manufacturing, from her first solo in “Belle (Reprise)” to “A Change in Me” in Act II.
Gaston, who was portrayed by Frankie Mulcahy, was much more animated and exaggerated than others, however this portrayal contributed to the satirical nature of his character as a blatant misogynist. Belle and Gaston masterfully executed “Me,” during which Gaston is forcing a proposal onto Belle but one way or the other manages to make the whole lot about himself. The choreography rendered it as a recreation of cat and mouse, but Belle demonstrated her management of the scenario with the rejection of Gaston.
Belle’s dynamic with the Beast (performed by understudy Aturo Montes on Nov. 11) was additionally extra practical throughout the restricted run time of the present and the fast nature of a Disney story. The Beast’s distance was at first off-putting, however that was the purpose. Because the present progressed, his and Belle’s relationship turned extra affectionate and fewer temperamental. You possibly can see their greatest moments collectively in “One thing There,” the place it’s first evident they’ve emotions for one another, and “Magnificence and the Beast,” the place Belle accepts the dinner invitation and the 2 share an intimate dance.
All the Beast’s enchanted objects excelled of their roles, together with the uptight but loyal Cogsworth (performed by Ben Chau-Chiu) and the motherly and sort Mrs. Potts (Juliet Inexperienced). Chip (Da-Ni Lin) was lovely and was carted round on a desk for the efficiency.
Arjun Sheth ’19 and Kaitlin Harold ’23 additionally had been comedically excellent as Lumiere and Babette, a candlestick and duster in a back-and-forth relationship. Sheth defined his pleasure for his or her tango solo in “Be Our Visitor” in an interview with The Every day. The solo earned cheers from the reactive and vocal viewers.
Alongside its spectacular facets, the present had its faults. One was the blocking of “The Mob” within the finale, the place the mob travels to the fortress to assault the Beast’s palace. It may be the fault of the script, however the battle on the fortress felt too fast-paced. One nice a part of the present was the way it used aisles within the viewers to make up for the small stage; many dramatic entrances and exits had been finished by these aisles. Nonetheless, slightly than make the mob disappear by the viewers — ending the music with their journey to the fortress — I might have favored to see some choreography of the assault.
However, “Magnificence and the Beast” was a pleasant present to see and an excellent indoor exercise for the winter. Venturing into the larger Palo Alto group, getting out of the Stanford theater bubble and absorbing the magic of the fairytale had been undoubtedly value it.
Editor’s Observe: This text is a evaluation and consists of subjective ideas, opinions and critiques.