Adults certainly aren't immune to the charms of a good Disney musical, but the basis of their enjoyment is likely to be very different to the qualities that tickle children's fancy. In the case of Beauty and the Beast, a 10-year-old might walk away giggling at the clownish interplay between suave Lumière and anxiety-ridden Cogsworth, whereas parents might find themselves humming the evocative title ballad long into the evening.
With that in mind, and to help widen the critical perspective beyond jaded adult eyes, two younger audience members accompanied this reviewer to the current Spokane Civic Theatre production ofBeauty and the Beast directed by Interim Artistic Director Jack Phillips. Here are some of their unvarnished comments in a sort of dialogue with my own.
"The costumes were really good." — Eva, age 9
They were outstanding. Summer Berry and her team have outdone themselves. All the enchanted details are precisely in place: Lumière's (Preston Loomer) glowing candlestick arms, Cogsworth's (Dan Griffith) ornate yet functional clock getup, Belle's (Kaitlin Webster) iconic yellow dress, Mrs. Potts' (Misty Cusick) rotund teapot figure and the cleverly designed serving cart on which she wheels her teacup son Chip (Noelle Fries), Madame La Bouche's (Samantha Schneider) velvety and voluptuous armoire, the Beast's (Jack Siebel) shaggy mane and fangs.
Review by by E.J. Iannelli of the Inlander
Photo by Jeff Ferguson of the Inlander.