The Wheelock Family Theater’s motto is “Live Theater Transforms Lives” and yesterday’s matinée performance of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” helped do just that for some young lives in my family. In the early moments of the musical, the radiance of Angela Williams as Belle washed over the faces of Kyle and granddaughter Mackenzie. The glow of the stage revealed joy in the young man and astonishment in his little niece, while Ms. Williams beautiful rendition of “Belle” projected the emotion of both.
It’s a wonderful production that delivered all the magic of the show we saw on Broadway in 2001 for about one-fourth the price. In addition to the enchanting Ms. Williams, Christopher Chew stood tall as the testosterone excessive Gaston, and Douglas Jabara carried a great tune as the Beast. The Boston Globe review runs it all down for you, so I won’t but what I’ll say is that the performance brought me back and engaged my emotions.
On the way home, we played a game Kenzie and Kyle like called, “I spy with my little eye.” That got pretty lively and “the commissioner” had to step in to penalize Jessica a round for cheating and also invoke rule 79.3B: “Everybody quiet for one minute or there’ll be suspensions…” One time after the rule was lifted Kyle asked, ‘Dad, was “Beauty and the Beast” the first movie you ever took Megan to?’ “Yeah, Dude. It was.” “I miss Megan.” “Me too, my boy. Me too.”
“Beauty and the Beast” plays through March 4th with 1:00 matinees through February vacation week.