Theatre Mirror Reviews - "Beauty & The Beast"

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note: entire contents copyright 2004 by Bob Guenthner a k a The Old Grump

"BEAUTY and the BEAST"

Reviewed by The Old Grump (a k a Bob Guenthner)

music by alan menkenn
lyrics by howard ashman & tim rice
book by linda woolverton

executive producer - artisic director meg fofonoff
stage director michael p. hammond
music director markus hauck
choreographer pam shapiro


Belle/Beauty Understudy/Ensemble - Jennifer Mischley
Beauty/Belle - Jen Ellis
The Beast - Gene Dante
Gaston - Robert Case
Mrs. Potts - Paula Markowicz
Maurice - Dan Kelly
Lumiere/Young Prince - John King
Cogsworth - Ray O'Hare
Babette/Enchantress - Melissa Prusinski
Monsieur D'Arque - Bill Stambaugh
LaFou - Jeff Mahoney
Chip - Benjamin Hirsh
Chip - Sam Wartenberg
Wardrobe - Kathy League
Carpet - Madeline Ford
Silly Girl - Leah Flaherty
Silly Girl/Dance captain - Samantha Brior Jones
Silly Girl/Dance captain - Colleen Mason


Theresa Chiasson, Linda Cohn, Sarah Ford, Becky Geggatt, Daniel Gravely, Savannah Horton, Elizabeth Kelly, Sam Martinborough, Randi Jo Pallis, Jordan Wulforst

My play going has crawled to a near stop. In slowing down, my inane comments called reviews have also become rare. I made up my mind not to bore anyone with my opinions of this show, but after seeing it, changed my mind.
I've read three reviews praising the show, and the individual members, so I will omit being repetitious. I will mainly talk about the girl who understudied Belle, Jen Mischley. Never have I heard her sing better. Her clear and powerful voice was a joy to listen to. Although her gowns were stunning, I still wish I could have seen her in her Forum outfit one more time.

Tap dancing in Beauty and the Beast? The tap dancing surprised me at first, then pleased me. Pam brought quite a few changes to the original choreography, and they all were fantastic.

The do it all Mike Hammond scored another success as a director. I know his ego is high enough to bring down an orbiting satellite, but I still have to complement him. Great job.

Fiddlehead does not throw a repertory company at you like a lot of other theaters. Their shows are composed of the best available talent, not the best available friend.

Could the voices have been better? No! Could the girls have been prettier? No! Could the boys been handsomer? We won't go into that one.

I am going back next Saturday to see and hear Jen Ellis sing Belle. I spoke to her for a few moments this week, and I am looking forward to seeing her on stage.

"Beauty & The Beast" (5 - 12 November)
109 Central Street, NORWOOD MA

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide