Tears of all kinds – joy, laughter, and otherwise – await anyone who sees CAPA's production of Beauty and the Beast. In a stunning performance, the actors went above and beyond their expectations. This story, held close to the hearts of children and adults alike, calls into question the real definition of beauty and posits that true beauty is found within.
Based on a 1991 Disney film (which was based on an old French fairy tale), the show ran on Broadway from 1994 to 2007, currently the eighth longest-running Broadway show in history. The story is set in 18th century France and is centered on a prince who has been cursed to live as a monstrous beast until such time as he can find true love. One day, a girl named Belle happens upon the enchanted castle, and the Beast imprisons her and, over time, attempts to earn her love, despite his terrifying appearance.
CAPA's production was phenomenal. The entire cast and crew put the show together in only four weeks which made it soulful to watch. It certainly paid off as every one of the actors onstage maintained their character with ease and precision. The ensembles were stunningly put together as well.
Derek Walton (Beast) and Iliana Taormina (Belle) in particular showed their immense skill onstage and wowed the audience with their presence and capacious emotive powers. From the start of the show to the finale, Walton scoured the depths of human emotion and executed them onstage for all to see, all the while maintaining complete control of his character. His skill was perfectly matched by Taormina with her unique presence which made the show real; in addition to her resoundingly beautiful voice, she captured every aspect of Belle in her character.
The entire supporting cast also showed their theatrical prowess in the show. The Wolves were particularly impressive; they exhibited intense dancing skills at both of their cameo appearances. Every eye in the audience fixed on them with rapt attention when they entered the stage, with complete control over their movements and deep interconnection with each other. In addition, the Salt and Pepper shakers in "Be Our Guest" showed serious skill at their appearances with their brave and risky moves.
As to the more technical aspects of the show, the stage crew stood out the most. At every scene change they worked with complete fluidity. The costumes were extremely well done,especially Tyler Pinder-Hudson's costume (Lumiere).Tyler showed great prowess as a performer as well while truly looking the part with a headpiece that looked like a candle wick.
One prominent theme in this show is love and how it can manifest itself in anyone,from a beautiful princess to a hideous beast. The cast and crew of CAPA's Beauty and the Beast certainly helped this theme come alive, not just with performance skills but also with genuine emotion and dedication. Now remember, beauty is not found in skin, hair, or clothes; beauty is found within.