Anyone who paid a visit to Blue Valley High School this weekend, may have stumbled upon some strange occurences like a talking clock, a singing candelabra, and possibly even an enchanted rose.
If you were among those to witness these odd events, do not fret. You are not alone. Several others were reported to have undergone the same experience this weekend as well.
Of course, this may have everything to do with the fact that the 2011 BVHS musical, Beauty and the Beast, took place last weekend. Yeah, our experts tell us that there is a 99.9% chance that these two events are correlated, so I wouldn’t worry too much about your sanity just yet.
Then again, depending on your personal opinion of the production, you may have suffered some less serious injuries like disatisfaction or disappointment.
But, I would suspect that most of you had the same outlook on the musical as myself: for a high school adaptation of a show that sets very high standards, it wasn’t half bad.
Sure the female lead (Lauren Flack) may have been more than slightly less suited for the part of Belle and the symphony seemed to stay discordantly out of key for a majority of the evening, but you can’t exactly expect perfection from a group of 14-18 year old students.
The cool thing is that for a high school budget, the character’s costumes were very intricately well-designed, the set was superb, and the choreography can only be described as excellent. On these specific fronts, the musical was exactly what one would expect.
Although it is arguable that everyone in title roles did an exceptional job, a special shout out needs to go out to the students who portrayed the parts of Lumiere (Alex Petersen), Cogsworth (Jake Miller), Mrs. Potts (Sarah Bergeson), Gaston (Grayson Yockey), Babette (Ali Hadley) and Le Fou (Garrett Woods). While, again, everyone did a fairly decent job on stage, these characters really took the show from mediocre to exceptional (for a high school standard).
So two thumbs up for these students in particular.
On the whole, the musical followed the original film nearly to a T, however, there were several new songs added to the list, including a track named “Human Again“, which was cut from the original film before it released. While some of the audience members may have enjoyed all of these new additions, I only really took to the “Human Again” track as I found the others to be too drawn out and mostly boring, especially the solos performed by Belle and the Beast (John Osmundson).
Of course what made these musical selections all the more worse was the fact that the symphony, directed by Paul Aubrey, was out of tune for nearly every song. It is possible that I attended on an off night, seeing as Aubrey and his group of instrumental performers are usually fairly decent, however, the magnamity of musical mistakes may suggest otherwise.
Although, like I said before, the backdrops used during this musical were fairly acceptable for such a visually engaging film, I must admit that I was a little disappointed with the school’s adaptation of Beasts’ library. In the film, this scene is such a breathtaking one, but on the BVHS stage it was equated to nothing more than a bookshelf. However, I am willing to let this particular deficiency slide as I realize that a school’s theatrical budget and preparation time are both fairly low.
The fact of the matter is, this musical is an especially hard one to perform, being that it is one of the most popular animated kids films of the century as well as the product of the creative genius of one of the world’s leading entertainment companies, Walt Disney.
So with this in mind, I have to say that BVHS did just about as well as expected, given the circumstances and all-in-all I must give a big hand to Vocal Director Marsha Moeller, Director Jeff Yarnell, and Choreographer Ann McCroskey for a job well done.
If you didn’t get a chance to see this musical, I have to say that you should be a little disappointed. It was definitely more of a must-see than years previous, although the BVHS adaptation of Footloose a few years back was a good one as well.
For those of you Kansas Citians who pride themselves on being music-theater enthusiasts, I would definitely recommend you visit the local high school for next year’s musical. The school also puts on a Fall production as well though it lacks in the department of choreography and chorale music.
If you did get a chance to see this year’s Beauty and the Beast adaptation, what was your opinion of the show?
Oh and FYI, for all of you Disney fans out there, Beauty and the Beast is rumored to possibly be returning to theaters later this year for a special 3-dimensional showing. If you love the classic Disney film, this will definitely be a can’t-miss opportunity. Check back in the near future for more updates on this exciting upcoming possibility!