BRUNSWICK, Me – There’s a charmingly distinct French story line in the highly entertaining and excellent professional production of Beauty and the Beast, playing for three weeks at the Maine State Music Theater, in Brunswick, on the Bowdoin College campus.
La Belle et la Bête ~ Beauty and the Beast, is French fairy tale written by novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve. It was published in 1740. Variants of the tale are known across Europe. In fact, I learned how European researchers report that the origin of the fantasy story is ancient.
There are charming nuggets of French language and culture in Beauty and the Beast. Characters’ names from the original story are included into the musical production. “Lumiere” is the candle stick character who delivers some of story’s funniest one liner laughs. “Lefue” is the character who hilariously contorts himself into pretzel shapes, in various scenes, while he tries to be a loyal side kick to the boisterous Gaston, who is the story’s protagonist.
Beauty and the Beast is the Maine State Music Theater’s second show of the season Bravo! A must see performance! It’s a fantastic musical with an expertly talented cast, fascinating choreography, beautiful music and creative direction. Costumes are, likewise, brilliant.
Moreover, the captivating production of Beauty and the Beast (it’s the Disney theatrical production) could be the best production of this musical that theater lovers will ever have the opportunity see, because it’s performed by a brilliant cast with fantastic music and set design. Some of the set is partially animated.
A perfect blend of story, excellent acting, fantastic choreography, creative sets and lovely musical score, complemented by fantastic singing! This is truly a fantastic and entertaining musical and a theatrical gift to those of us who follow MSMT. (My husband and I have been season subscribers for at least 15 years!)
Beauty and the Beast is a high quality and expertly staged production, a perfectly told and sung, enchanting portrayal of a wonderful fairy tale, about an unlikely love story, set in France. Belle is the “beauty” character, played with charm by Lexi Rabadi, who MSMT audiences might remember from her the past performance in “Fiddler on the Roof“. Playing the “Beast”, the powerful shape-shiftier, is Darick Pead. Gaston is entertaining in his role as the antagonist, played by Matthew Ragas.
Audience favorites included the “pretzel agility” of Ethan Carlson as Lefou and the hilarious one liners delivered by James Patterson, as Lumiere. “Chip” is played by the child actor Aymeric Dauge-Roth.
Yet, choreography by Marc Robin and Curt Dale Clark are the stars of this classy production.
Although extra performances have been added to the performance schedule, the tickets will be disappearing quickly. Beauty and the Beast is packed with talented dancers and performers. Beauty and the Beast is MSMT at it’s utmost best and this production deserves my personal 5 star consumer rating.