Theater Info for the Washington DC region

Thomas Edison High School Beauty and the Beast

By • Nov 18th, 2010 • Category: Cappies

When one thinks of the story Beauty and the Beast, they think of the classic 1991 Disney film. Adapted from the film with a few changes to the storyline, the stage version of Beauty and the Beast tells a tale of a selfish but tortured Beast (Robert Boyd), who once was a Young Prince (Purev Arslanbaatar). Due to his selfishness, an Enchantress (Sara Moustaid) transformed him into his hideous form, and only with true love can the spell be broken. When a lost and bewildered Maurice (Alec Bose) seeks refuge in the Beast’s castle and is taken prisoner, his daughter Belle (Katherine Seidl) bargains to take his place and remain a prisoner of the Beast’s forever. And so a story of romance and inner-beauty is told by Thomas Edison High School.

The ability to tell the story while making the audience laugh was the bellwether of the show. The slightly different storyline was still told well and easy to follow the majority of the time. Whether it was the busy, gossip-filled marketplace or the rambunctious hangout of Gaston’s, the ensemble painted the scenes and made the audience see this. Several individual actors and actresses from both minor and major roles stood out.

The Beast (Robert Boyd) had good diction. Robert Boyd displayed the timid, lonely, and caring side of Beast very well and showed a believable adoration for Belle (Katherine Seidl). Katherine Seidl sang with spot-on pitch and articulation. Although some major characters struggled with pitch at times, they could pick up their character in the more dramatic scenes.

Many of the minor and supporting roles brought much of the energy in Beauty and the Beast. Many of the characters maintained French or British accents throughout the show in a mostly professional manner. Jonathan Schroeder played the role of Cogsworth excellently with a higher intonation and snooty accent, playing the role of the buzzkill rather well. Lumiere (Thomas Norman) was probably one of the most enjoyable to watch. His physicality matched his facial expressions and womanizing antics, making him a riot to watch. David Bourne played the narcissistic role of Gaston excellently. His singing voice was able to hit the lower notes. He could have played his character more manly, but his conceit and ability to make the audience believe he was a hunk. The Wolves (Peter An, Genesis Canicosa, Elcid Demonteverde, Dai Nguyendo, James Vinyoopongphan, Kevin To) brought the elements of fear in the production. Their physicality was not very wolf-like but was effective in creating suspense. The Old Woman (Cindy Tran) was hysterical. For having no lines at all, her facial expressions and actions made the audience laugh without fail.

The set (Johnathan Hernandez, Jason Zheng, Cecily Wynne, Jocelyn Griser) was minimal yet effective. It got across where the scene took place and provided smooth transitions for scene changes. The sound (Jocelyn Griser, Ally Ouellette, Samuel Glad) had its struggles, but the actors overcame these technical obstacles most of the time.

Overall, Thomas Edison High School put on an enjoyable show of Beauty and the Beast.

by Logan Beveridge of Mount Vernon High School

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