T'eyla Minh (teylaminh) wrote,
T'eyla Minh

short version....

... of the promised ramble/whatever on "beauty and the beast"...

~ first of all, here's something i've noticed about going to the theatre: if you sit too near the front, or too near the back, it's almost like not really being there. the 'live' aspect of it doesn't really hit you (even more so if you're at the very back because it's really more like watching a movie...) until they either make a mistake, or the curtain comes down. very odd. being in about the 5th or 6th row is best. the other thing about being near the front is that it doesn't even hit you properly until you've left; this happened with seeing alan davies - it didn't hit that it was really him until about an hour after the thing finished... anyway, my point was that we were in row W for BATB and it was like seeing a film. very odd...

~ it was full of small children, the kind of small children who either a) talk through the whole thing, b) fall asleep (they're okay, i suppose; at least they're quiet...) or c) rustle sweet wrappers (but then, most adults do that, too...)

~ the story of beauty and the beast has such wonderful potential for angst and drama, but, being disney, none of that is really played on. shame...

~ because of the nature of the show - appealing to all ages as per disney's raison d'etre - it was rather like a pantomime. but the cast were very good - especially the guys playing lumiére, cogsworth, and gaston - and could definitely play up to the audience. plus, the facial expressions were so exagerrated, i could see them right at the back ;)

~ the guy playing the beast was, in fact, on the les mis concert video at the albert hall, so now i have to look for him... hearing him sing, he had a very 'les mis' ish voice, that sort of sing-speak quality that denotes professional training... and obviously, he had a good voice. what scared me was the sheer campness of the beast himself - in particular there's a scene where he's trying to ask belle to dinner, and she accuses him of not being polite... and he says something like "ooooooh, she wants me to be polite" - and you'll just have to imagine reeves and mortimer doing their handbag-clutching joke to get the feel of it...

~ i'd forgotten how nice some of the music was in it. the opening theme especially sent little tingles down my spine. but for some reason, disney songs just don't sound right being sung by a full musical cast ;) it's just too much, somehow...

~ the costumes were wonderful. you haven't lived until you've seen a guy dressed as a candlestick trying to seduce a woman dressed as a feather duster ;) and is it just me, or does the beast ALWAYS look better as the beast and not the prince... i've always thought that, in the film and in the show. very odd... i guess it's kinda like you know the phantom just wouldn't be the same without the deformity because it's part of why he's so bitter and part of why you know you shouldn't love him but you do... (and i think that's why beauty and the beast is one of my favourite stories - it's the same sort of concept as phantom.)

~ my "tears-rating" doesn't work any more. i used to base a show's quality on how many times i ended up in tears. when i saw les mis, you see, i cried 6 times; at whistle down the wind, only twice; thus, WDTW was a third as good as LM. but then, i didn't cry at all in SB, and it was far, far better than WDTW (proven by the fact that i'm not obsessed at all with WDTW and... well, you know about SB :D) and, i didn't cry at all during BATB, but that doesn't make it a bad show. it's a frelling fantastic show (and disney clearly needs the money from the merchandising more than lloyd webber does, because everything was very expensive, tickets included...)

~ why has disney chosen the two most difficult stories to turn into musicals? first, 'the lion king', noW BATB, both of which require very difficult costumes... what's next? 'the little mermaid'? (ooh.. now that i'd want to see!)

that's pretty much it. i've ranted about theatregoers enough for one year ;) so i won't bother. you all know how i feel about that.
Tags: reviews: theatre
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