‘Beauty and the Beast’ Delights Audience


The cast of Beauty and the Beast takes a final bow.

Mallory Kaster, Senior Staff Writer

Friday night, I packed into the almost full NDA auditorium to see an amazing performance of Beauty and the Beast.

The cast, crew, pit and directors started work on the show about three months ago, and their hard work definitely paid off.

The opening scene, which included Belle, Gaston, the Silly Girls and the Ensemble was the perfect way to start the show: great music, singing, dancing and acting.

The props were also amazing. When Maurice first appeared with his invention, it looked good, but the mechanics, including the movements and the smoke, were not expected. This addition really added to the performance.

I was also impressed with the rose, going from full to having only one petal at the end of the show. The use of the cups in the song “Gaston” was also impressive. However, the mirror that was used was, I thought, a little tacky. I wish it didn’t light up with multiple colors, but instead maybe one color.

The casting for this performance was spot on. Anna DeMeuse, who played Belle, was perfect for her part. Not only did she look like Belle, but she could sing, dance and act. Her gentle personality also seemed very much like Belle’s.

One thing in the past that bothered me about the musicals at NDA was that, in my opinion, the acting was not always the best. The performers could sing and dance, but when it came to simple acting, they weren’t very convincing.

That was not the case in this show. The actors, most of whom had been in plays at NDA, were stellar, and I was highly impressed. They stayed in character the entire show.

Lefou, Gaston and Lumiere had funny roles, and did excellent jobs making the audience laugh during tense moments in the plot.

The singing was perfect. “A Change in Me” by Belle and “Beauty and the Beast” by Mrs. Potts were stellar. I was amazed at how well Anna and Keri Salscheider did with these songs.

The choreography was another incredible aspect. In “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest,” the choreography was intricate, but the performers did a great job making it look seamless. Even when they had to dance with plates on their backs and while carrying oversized eating utensils, they did a fantastic job.

The costuming was one of my favorite parts of this show. Lumiere and Chip’s costumes were extremely creative. Even the costumes for the Ensemble were great.

However, I wish the wolf costumes were a little more intricate.  The masks were great, but just wearing those and gray sweats was a little disappointing. I wish they at least had tails or something to cover their tennis shoes to make them more believable.

I loved how the cast came out into the audience multiple times during the show. It really pulls the audience in, and makes them feel more like a part of the performance.

The pit also did a fantastic job. They put in a lot of time and energy, and it certainly paid off. Congrats to everyone in the pit and their director, Mr. Bill Hill.

Finally, the lighting and sound for the show were spectacular. Although there were some glitches, Jake Gerlikovsky and Vince Hribernek once again did a great job. The flying effects also really enhanced the performance, and added a nice touch.

Overall, this was a spectacular show. I went to the show twice because I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to see it again.