By: Caleigh Ryan, Delsea Regional High School
ELMER, N.J. — If you were looking for adventure in the great wide somewhere, Arthur P. Schalick High School invited audiences to be their guest and took them on a journey from provincial life to an enchanted, fantastical “tale as old as time” with their rendition of Beauty and the Beast on February 23, 24, and 25.
The magical musical, Beauty and the Beast, was adapted from the original Walt Disney’s 1991 motion picture, Beauty and the Beast. With music and lyrics written by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, the show follows the intelligent and undeniably charming adolescent girl, Belle, who perseveres to protect those who she loves (along with a certain bearded fellow she meets on the way).
AP Schalick’s overall production was incredibly remarkable. No matter how small or large the part, the performances all stood out. The ensemble’s vocals in “Belle” were outstanding and filled the entire theater. Ensemble members portrayed an immense amount of energy, whether they were shopping at the village markets, or dancing on tavern tables during “Gaston.”
The female lead, Belle (Taylor Zotter), found herself in search of something far greater than leading a small, village girl life. She entranced the audience with her stellar vocals in solo performances, “A Change In Me” and “Home.” Not only was the audience captivated with her vocals, but also her range as an actor. The male lead, Beast (Sam Decou), played a difficult role, portraying every emotion from bliss to anger to sadness, all while in a full face of prosthetics. These actors together had perfect chemistry and complemented each other well to magically tell their peculiar love story.
Straying away from romance, the actor Andrea Ellis, playing Mrs. Potts, represented the perfect mother-figure to not only her son Chip (Macy Clow) but to Belle as well. Her phenomenal accent along with vocals in her title track solo, “Beauty and the Beast” added to the story development as a supporting character. The enchanted trio, Lumiere (Christian Harridan), Cogsworth (Isaac Bonselaar), and Mrs. Potts (Andrea Ellis) all had great comedic timing in delivering their lines. Each of these characters also developed a personalized character walk which gave their character even more personality. All these supporting actors had exceptionally great diction for the setting and time period of the show, especially Lumiere.
Although the set contained simplistic designs and small set changes, the cast had large and interactive props such as Maurice’s (Dom Melchiorre) contraption in Act 1. Apart from noticeable props and magic mirrors, the lighting crew did an excellent job at making the lights fit the mood of the scene, like pink for Belle and the Beast falling in love. The lighting also contrasted beautifully against the simplistic costumes which Bella Prichett and Samantha Twigg beautifully paired and altered.
Overall, AP Schalick’s Theatre Program did an outstanding job with Beauty and the Beast, and if you don’t believe me, ask the dishes!
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