‘Beauty and the Beast’ a beauty of a play

By Bill Schlichting, Pilot staff writer May 21, 2013 08:36 pm

“Beauty and the Beast” opened Friday to a full house, only to be followed up on Saturday and Sunday by capacity crowds. 

Word of mouth is without a doubt spreading the news about what an awesome production the Brookings Harbor Community Theater is presenting.

This show is proof that there is strength in numbers. No one has an enormous amount of lines, such as in a play with a cast of three. There are no lengthy monologues. Rarely is a person alone on stage. With a “cast of thousands,” all the pieces fall in synchronized beauty such as a domino train. The real challenge is setting up all the dominoes so it will come together.

Although the cast can be acknowledged in this production, it couldn’t happen without those putting it all together in the first place: Director Dori Blodgett; properties organized by Pati Gibson; choreographers for the dances involving dozens of people on a stage where there is little room to move — Michaela George, Lynette McPherson and Charis Abblitt; sets designed by McPherson with the help of builders Tony Hobbs, Rory Henderson, Brad McPherson and Timothy Van Maren; and the sewing of more than 100 costumes — the work of Glenna Niemie, Norma Starbard, Bonnie Jorgenson, Lynette McPherson, Lauren Frost, Henderson, Blodgett and Bj Farris.

This was all work that had to be done before opening day.

The thought of costuming and organizing 50 actors playing the rolls of 68 characters, add 33 townspeople, is phenomenal.

And then there is this cast that had to learn 14 songs. But then, perhaps a talented, and focused, cast made it all the easier. All the work put together made for a well-done performance.

“Beauty and the Beast” is a play based on the Disney movie of the same name. It is the story of a young prince who shows no heart toward an elderly woman who offers him a gift. As it turns out, the old woman is really a young woman, but it is too late for the prince. He is cursed to be a hideous beast.

The beast (Jaime Gagnon) goes into hiding in his castle. In the nearby village is a beautiful woman, Belle (Lisa Price), who is taking care of her father (Brad McPherson) and avoiding the affections of Gaston (Dilan Cuthbertson). When the father is lost in the woods, he happens upon the beast’s castle filled with enchanted servants who have been turned into inanimate objects.

When Belle finds her father missing, she searches for him and also happens upon the castle, encounters the beast and finds her father imprisoned there. The beast agrees to let her father go in exchange for taking her prisoner.

Meanwhile, back in the village, Gaston convinces the villagers that Belle’s father is crazy because of his stories of the beast.

As the play progresses, the audience may wonder who is the real beast? The handsome Gaston, or the hideous creature in the castle.

Six shows remain for this production made possible by a grant from Grocery Outlet in Harbor. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, May 24, 25, 31 and June 1, and 2 p.m. Sundays, May 26 and June 2.

Ticket prices are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased at Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies in Brookings and New Wave Video in Harbor. Because of the trend of full houses, reservations are highly recommended by calling 541-469-4700. 

Shows are staged at the Harbor Performing Arts Center in the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center, 97900 Shopping Center Ave.