|Matteo Scammell &|
Brian Anthony Wilson
Beauty and The Beast will be playing on the F. Otto Haas Stage of the Arden Theatre, 40. N. 2nd Street, in Philadelphia through Feb 1. Although Beauty and the Beast is a classic children’s tale of courage, kindness, and honor, its audience should not be relegated to children and their families alone. Children will surely be mesmerized by Matteo Scammell’s portrayal of the beast. (One child in the audience opening night wanted to know why the beast ate so funny). Others might want to know (as my granddaughter did) "If Belle (portrayed by Emilie Krause) wasn’t really asleep on the stage, how did she stay so still?” There is no doubt that the acting is first-rate. E Ashley Izard plays The Housekeeper you love to hate. Kevin Meehan shocks many when he discloses he has been masquerading as another character, so well does he play both roles. What brings this production beyond its denotation of children’s theatre is the superb work of its creative team: Sebastienne Mundheim/White Box Theatre, Designer of Shadows and Shadow Objects; Rob Kaplowitz, Sound Designer; Brian Sidney Bembridge, Lighting Designer; Richard St. Clair, Costume Designer and David P. Gordon, Scenic Designer. The special effects that this team has created are incredible. With great attention to detail, every aspect of design is noteworthy. Even if you are not a huge fan of the storyline of Beauty and the Beast, you must come to see this presentation for both the complexity and the simplicity of the production. For more information or tickets, call 215-922-1122 or visit online at ardentheatre.org.