It is generally a excellent sign when an individual coming out of a theater is heard to say, “That was so fun!”
The theater in query was Jefferson Center’s Shaftman Hall, and the exhibit was Virginia Children’s Theatre’s present-day production of “Beauty and the Beast,” which has a 3 p.m. curtain today and one particular overall performance remaining just after that, on Sunday.
The beloved fairy tale gets the customary royal remedy from VCT, with fantastic music, brilliantly engineered sets, charming costumes, creative consequences and impressive performances by older people and youth alike.
Victoria Jade Lopez plays Belle, who lives with her widowed father in a compact French city. She spends her days examining books and avoiding the advances of the regional hunter Gaston, right up until she finds herself in a desperate condition — she must totally free her father from imprisonment in the castle of a awful beast. Belle delivers to take her father’s put, and in executing so sets the phase for liberating the beast from his possess imprisonment in an enchantress’s spell that has ruined his previously princely appears to be and morphed his employees into a selection of residence objects.
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Lopez does a fantastic work of balancing Belle’s toughness and tenderness, and her voice is soaring. Jeffrey Williams delights as Belle’s doting father Maurice, a pixilated inventor. And Craig Smith nails the eye-rollingly macho meathead Gaston.
The Beast is performed by Brett Roden. Regulars will know him as VCT’s manufacturing inventive director, normally identified in the orchestra pit major the musicians. Director of Advertising and marketing and Community Relations Lindsay Tolar verified that Roden does not surface often, but this was not his first VCT purpose — he played Schroeder in a 2018 operate of “You’re a Excellent Male, Charlie Brown.” Audiences really should welcome all long run performances: Roden was heartbreaking in his despair over the enchantress’s curse, and his amount “If I Simply cannot Really like Her,” which closed Act I, showcased a abundant voice of extraordinary selection.
Amongst the universally strong solid, youth performer Calan Johnson as Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, has the demanding task of leading the humorous ensemble range “Gaston,” and does so with aplomb and youth Ann Marie Thorell as the castle footman-turned-candlestick Lumiere does an equally fine job with the large-ranging “Be Our Guest.”
All of the solid members and the creation workforce convey a excellent power to this lively output – a tale as previous as time, instructed extremely nicely.