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Beauty and the Beast at Segerstrom

The second backdrop

Ready to see the show!

My sweet daughter and I had the opportunity to attend the premiere of Beauty and the Beast, the Musical at Segerstrom Hall last night. This was a special night out for us, as I have six kids and it’s not very often that my kids get one-on-one time with mom. The evening began with several pre-show activities that are offered an hour before the show begins. We had the opportunity to made a “Lumiere” puppet, color Beauty and the Beast coloring sheets and there was a library full of children’s books and soft pillows to sit on while reading.

My daughter's completed Lumiere puppet

My daughter’s completed Lumiere puppet

They also had two different backdrops for photo opportunities.

In front of the castle

In front of the castle

They also have themed cupcakes and cocktails for purchase before the show and during intermission.

The show itself was everything I hoped it would be – and more. The set is beautiful – there’s a lovely frame around the stage and a red rose floating in the background during the Overture and Entr-acte. The sets and backdrops used throughout the musical are perfectly reminiscent of the acclaimed movie and the costumes are wonderful recreations also. It is evident through all the details that the original composer. lyricist, and screen writer were involved in this production.

I believe my favorite part was actually the dance number during the song “Gaston”. We are all familiar with the scene in the tavern when Lefou sings to Gaston about how wonderful he is. It’s a delightful part of the story where Gaston’s narcissism is not only evident, but celebrated. In the musical there’s this amazing dance scene where all the dancers each have 2 metal beer mugs that they “clank” in different patterns with one another. The choreography along with music create a stunning visual effect.

Granted, we all know that the musical highlight of the show is the performance of “Be Our Guest”. Based off of the stunning number in the original movie, the version create for stage is just as impressive. The silverware, dishes, salt & pepper, along with the carpet bring an amazing visual to Lumiere’s featured solo. The audience was thrilled by the giant exploding champagne bottles – what a fun effect to add!

I was likewise pleased at the transformation of the Beast into the Prince at the end of the story.  I hadn’t thought ahead of time how that would be portrayed, but as we neared that scene I began to wonder how it would be done so that it was realistic. I shouldn’t have thought twice about it. I’m not 100% sure how they pulled it off – but, like everything else about the show, it was perfect.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the wonderful actors & actresses who performed in this production. Hilary Maiberger IS Belle. She is perfect in every way, from her appearance to her beautiful voice. Tim Rogan brings the egotistical Gaston to life in such an accurate portrayal you cannot help but laugh out loud at his constant muscle flexing and posing. James May was just as convincing as Cogsworth – his costume was perfectly accurate and his interpretation of the character was spot on. Hassan Nazari-Robati performed as Lumiere – his accent was authentic and he was the perfect rogue to Babette’s flirty french maid (played beautifully by Stephanie Moskal). At times I think Roxy York (Madame de la Grande Bouche) tried to steal the show, but that is just the character’s personality – and Roxy did a lovely job playing the larger-than-life opera star-turned-wardrobe.

This stunning production runs through January 19th with tickets starting at just $29. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see this show – GO! Children and adults alike will fall in love with Beauty & the Beast all over again.

Tickets are currently available online starting at $29 online at SCFTA.org, at the Box Office at 600 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa or by calling (714) 556- 2787. For information on the production, visit www.BeautyAndTheBeastOnTour.com.

Julie is an OC Supermom to six beautiful children in Orange County. She is an editor with Astraea Press, active in the community and enjoys running in her free time.
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