"Beauty and the Beast" is a legendary fairytale that Disney enhanced the story with gorgeous ballgowns, memorable songs, inanimate objects coming to life, humor, a castle, a dangerous forest, and a small French village, and witchcraft creating a musical masterpiece.
At the Chanticleer Theater last weekend, a "Jr." version of this wonderful production came to life with 54 students all aged 18 or younger, a wonderful director, music director, choreographers, lights, sound, sets, props, costumes, and a host of managers and crew to perform this shortened version of the fairy tale to packed audiences.
As Belle, Audrey Schnitker was delightful with Kyle Schnitker as the Beast. In the role of Gaston, Adam Fulbright as the bully with his sidekick Lafue, portrayed by Wyatt Sargent were both fabulous in making these bad guys come to life. As Mrs. Potts, Carson Santee sang beautifully the theme song with Chase Sargent being her son, Chip.
Almost stealing the show at times were the three silly girls. These three were wonderful with the constant fauning over Gaston and excelled at bringing their characters to life. Led by Rolena Hatfield, Natalie Simons and Molly Schnitker were all hilarious with their constant antics.
With Cole Fischer is Lumiere, Emma Chvala is Madame de la Grande Bouche, Jacob Umphreys as Monsier D'Arque, Eric Wells as Cogsworth, Alyscia Parker as Babette, and Conner Mowery as Maurice, Belle's father, were all mature with their parts in leading this large cast.
The dancing and singing with the mugs was outstanding. The coordination of the clinking with the legs kicking and the sit-ups made for a joyful and well-performed act.
Unquestionably, the audience favored "Be Our Guest" with almost all the characters dancing, singing with all the silverware, cups, saucers, and napkins.
Part of this production is unquestionably the costumes. Just coordinating and creating all the costumes had to be an overwhelming task. Belle's gowns were gorgeous. These would be admired by any little girl dreaming of someday being a princess. The Beast's costume was outstanding as were all the numerous silverware, cups, saucers, napkins, and villagers, not to mention a feather duster, teapot, candlestick, grandfather clock, and a wardrobe.
Under the direction of Denise Putman, Disney's Beauty & the Beast Jr. excelled with Jerry Gray as the Music Director, Rachael Schnitker and Miranda Mittan as Choreographers, and the many people of the adult crew who made this children's show wonderful for all ages.
No Frill Supermarket partially funded this production.
Chanticleer Theater is located at 830 Franklin Ave. in Council Bluffs. This show will continue through September 29th on Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Prices for tickets are $ 20 for adults, $ 16 for seniors, and $ 10 for children/students. For more information and reservations contact the theater box office through e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at (712) 323-9955