Fairy tales either transport you or leave you cold. If anybody has found a way to milk them for all they’re worth, it’s Disney, the company that wowed film audiences a generation ago with iconic versions of “Snow White and “Cinderella.”

The audience at Thursday’s presentation of Santa Rosa Junior College’s “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” appeared to contain a bigger share of young adults than recent productions. I couldn’t decide whether this was because the larger cast was drawing in more young friends or whether so many simply wanted to relive their Disney-infused childhoods.

But they weren’t disappointed with this tale of how love can see past our exteriors and even our beastly behaviors.  And who hasn’t looked inside themselves at times and wondered, “How could anybody love me?”

The production featured the knock-out voice of Brittany Law as Belle, who used that Disney score to wonderful effect. Other vocal standouts included Zachary Hasbany as The Beast and Rosie Frater as Mrs. Potts.

Christopher Gonzalez made the most of his role as the zany, womanizing, kind-hearted Lumiere .

The show  is a spectacle, with a back-up ensemble of 16 men and women and scenic designer Peter Crompton’s eye-catching stage pieces for forest, castle and town. And don’t forget the dancing plates and flatware. The young men in their gold body suits cracked up the audience.

And then there are those catchy Disney lyrics: “Tale as old as time…”

The play continues with evening performances at 7:30 tonight, Saturday and Dec. 6-8 at the junior college’s Burbank Auditorium. Matinee shows will be 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and Dec. 8. The box office phone is 527-4343. And tickets are available online at the theatre arts department web site.

Still to come are performances of “A Few Good Men” from March 8 to 17 and “Legally Blonde” from April 19 to May 5.

– Robert Digitale

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1 Comment

  1. A Long-Time Patron

    Thursday night’s performance of Beauty was delightful. I only wish the costume designers and their helpers were included in the curtain call to received well deserved applause for their incredible creations.

    The sea of high school students at the performance probably had something to so with the full school buses disgorging in front of the auditorium.

    The actors behind the Beast, Belle and Mrs. Potts were excellent. But I would also want to include the Cogsworth, Luminere and Featherduster actors for their equally excellent performances. And Gaston’s portrayal of a boorish lout came off well enough that I had to consciously refrain from booing his character at the curtain call.

    The SRJC theater program’s productions are always entertaining and exceptional values. It would be fantastic to see larger audiences attending these programs if, for no other reason, to support the students and the huge commitment and effort they invest in these shows.

    I’m sure there are plenty of seats available at the remaining performances of Beauty and the Beast. Grab your (grand) kids, nieces, nephews and/or your partner and stake out a fun date on this holiday season calendar.

    November 30th, 2012 12:41 pm

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