While in Edmonton last weekend, I had the opportunity to check out Beauty and the Beast, showing at the Citadel Theatre – twice! I hadn’t gone to a musical for quite some time and certainly realized what I had been missing out on after watching this one.
The costumes, set, and special affects were incredible, but most importantly, the performances were superb! Amazing acting, singing, choreography & dance, and several “laugh out loud” moments. Belle, played by Josee Boudreau, was absolutely beautiful and she had such a beautiful voice. She looked exactly like what I’d picture the real life version of Belle to look like. Her father Maurice (Glenn Nelson) was perfect as the oddball inventor who would do anything for his daughter. The Beast was played by the incredibly talented Rejean Cournoyer. Not only did he give a stellar performance, but his costume was unreal! I mean real – it looked so good!
One thing that I really enjoyed about this show is that everyone brought something unique and important to the show. Watching the show twice allowed me to spend more time focussing on each and every cast member’s brilliant performances. Everyone was on!
My favorite numbers included: Belle, Gaston, Be Our Guest, and Beauty and the Beast. Excellent singing & dance for Belle and Gaston, and several parts that really made me laugh. Peter Huck was hilarious as Gaston and his sidekick Lefou, played by Andrew Stelmack, was hysterical!
Mrs. Potts, played by Elizabeth Stepkowski-Tarhan, brought a tear to my eye with her incredible voice and her touching relationship with her son Chip (actually played by a girl, Aryn McConnell – she was brill!). Lumiere (John Ullyatt) was soooooo funny and totally bang on, as was his sidekick Cogsworth (Julien Arnold). Babette was totally fierce in her feather duster costume and the Wardrobe (Shelley Simester) aka Madame de la Grande Bouche was very comedic. Another crazy costume as well!
The ensemble, both male & female, were soooo fantastic! They made so many quick costume changes and whether they were villagers, kitchen utensils, napkins, to name a few, they were always amazeballs. Special shout out to my boyfriend Tyrell Witherspoon who played the Grocer, a dancing spoon, a caryatid and was part of the village mob. This was the first time I had seen him perform live and he, along with the rest of the ensemble, were outstanding for sure! WOW! Speaking of which, here are the dancing utencils below. Tyrell is third from the left :).
Two thumbs up!! I had the opportunity to meet the cast after the show, and I must say they are amazing people on and off stage.
Music by ALAN MENKEN
Lyrics by HOWARD ASHMAN and TIM RICE
Book by LINDA WOOLVERTON
Originally directed by Robert Jess Roth
Originally produced by Disney Theatrical Productions
Directed by BOB BAKER
Starring RÉJEAN COURNOYER as The Beast
All Photos by David Cooper Photography. Citadel Theatre, Edmonton, AB.