Category Archives: BDT Stage

“Beauty And The Beast” Is Pure Delight In Boulder

Elaborate Sets And Great Costumes Add To The Magic

Reviewed by Tom Jones
May 14, 2019

What a treat.  Belle is a beauty, the Beast is beastly, and Gaston is everyone’s over-the-top egomaniac.  The only persons who like him better than he likes himself are the audience.  Scott Severtson as Gaston is a crazed delight as he kisses his biceps and struts around the stage with every girl in the village (except Belle) falling at his feet.  He is a remarkable sight.

Photo Courtesy of Glenn Ross

But just one of the “remarkable sights.”  BDT Stage has gone all-out to create a virtual spectacle of sight and sound.  The scenic design by Amy Campion, Tom Quinn and Jeff Rusnak is terrific in every respect.  The orchestra conducted by Neal Dunfee is very good.  The choreography by Alicia K. Meyers and Matthew D. Peters, assisted by Danielle Scheib, is enormous fun.  What’s not to like in this fun-for-the-entire family show?

Photo Courtesy of Glenn Ross

Lillian Buonocore is convincing as the charming “Belle.”  She feels out of place in her French village, as her primary interest is in books.  She is not interested in the unwanted attention given to her by the handsome town bachelor buffoon, Gaston.

Photo Courtesy of Glenn Ross

When Belle ends up in the spooky castle of the mysterious “Beast,” her life has turned into turmoil.  She has gone in search of her kidnapped father and ends up imprisoned in the Beast’s Castle for what might be her home for the rest of her life.

The Beast was put under a magic spell many years ago when he was an uncaring, self-centered younger man.  The spell will not be lifted until he finds love for someone who offers love in return.  The castle’s beast is truly formidable.  Belle, however, is not alone with her problems.  The castle is staffed by a host of formerly human characters now becoming more and more mechanized as the spell continues.  Unlike the angry beast, the staff is a pleasant and clever lot – Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, Madame de la Grande Bouche, Le Fou, Babette and Chip.  Chip is the amazing young man who has ended up as a teapot, turning in every direction just to speak.

Photo Courtesy of Glenn Ross

They are happy to have the company of Belle, the new addition to the castle, but fear for her future.  She is destined to end up in the same tragic circumstances they have found.  The delightful “Be our Guest” brings all the staff to life, as they welcome Belle to the castle.

These “spell-bound” charmers are Bob Hoppe as Lumiere, Scott Beyette as Cogsworth, Tracy Warren as Mrs. Potts, Alicia K. Meyers as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Leo Batlle as Le Fou, and Danielle Scheib as Babette.  The teapot Chip is portrayed by various young performers on a rotating schedule – Markus Hollekim, Hayden McDonald, and Miles Shaw.

Photo Courtesy of Glenn Ross

The cast does not stop there, as several other performers play various characters in this two and one-half hour extravaganza of sight and sound.  Cole LaFonte has the difficult role of the angry Beast, imprisoned in his remarkable make-up.  One unfortunate aspect of the show is that the Beast is so beastly and physically unappealing that it is difficult to warm up to him.  LaFonte’s excellent voice is hampered by his costume, resulting in an un-appreciated rendition of the beautiful “If I Can’t Love Her.”

“Beauty and the Beast” has been around as a story virtually since time began.  It turned up as a 1991 American animated movie musical released by Walt Disney Pictures.  It received numerous awards and has been a worldwide audience favorite.  The movie was turned into a stage musical in 1994.  The stage version was not initially praised by critics, but became an enormous audience success.  Another movie version, this time live action, was a recent success as well.

Photo Courtesy of Glenn Ross

BDT Stage continues the string of “Beauty” success with this season’s masterwork.  The story comes alive for a long run – to September 21, 2019.  Alicia K. Meyers and Matthew D. Peters have co-directed and co-choreographed this charmer for the ages. 

“Beauty and the Beast”
Where: Boulder Dinner Theatre Stage.
5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder
When: Through September 21, 2019
Tickets: Box Office (303) 449-6000
For more information: www.bdtstage.com

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

“I Love You, You’re Perfect . . . Now Change” Is Delightful Entertainment In Boulder

Fun And Foibles Of Romantic Relationships Are Spot On!

Reviewed by Tom Jones
October 13, 2018

While dating: “I love you. You’re perfect!
Day after wedding: “Now change.”

Four talented and likeable performers are on stage this season at BDT Stage taking the audience on a sentimental journey of love, happiness, and even a touch of despair. The longest-running off-Broadway review in history has been revised slightly for the 21st century. Some of the modifications are great fun.

Photo Credit Glenn Ross Photography

Bob Hoppe, Brian Jackson, and Heather Marie Doris are familiar faces to BDT Stage audiences. Anne Terze-Schwarz is new to BDT Stage, but has extensive experience, is a UNCO alum, and a native of Colorado. They are all very good.

Photo Credit Glenn Ross Photography

Hoppe can change characters in the twitch of an eyebrow, and takes the entire family on a not-so-joyous afternoon drive. Choreography in this scene is especially clever, with the family of four cruising around the stage with their self-propelled automobile.

Brian Jackson does not want to budge from the couch for the final 32 seconds of the football game on TV, even though his wife, Heather Marie Doris, is trying every tease she can come up with to share some romance. Jackson is also remarkable as the breakfast-time husband, who realizes his love for his wife is as deep as ever, even though they speak nary a word while reading the morning paper over cups of coffee. Anne Terze-Schwarz is effectively somber as the wronged woman trying to make a video to post on a dating network. Doris is terrific of the dreadfully-dressed bridesmaid who laments “Always a Bridesmaid” after catching the bride’s bouquet.

Photo Credit Glenn Ross Photography

Hoppe and Jackson are zany and obnoxious as parents who can think or talk about nothing but the soundly-sleeping child in the other room.

And so it goes, from first dates, marriage, raising a family, remaining in love, looking for a mate after a divorce, and even going to funerals to find dates after spouses die.

Photo Credit Glenn Ross Photography

The review has been around for many years, and has not lost its charm. Coming up with ideas for the current generation are problematic. A generation or so ago, when the production first appeared off-Broadway, the thrill of love was usually culminated with an exciting wedding and honeymoon. This has become somewhat passé, as pre-marital co-habitation is now the norm in many situations, and the resulting current scene of Selfie-texting in the review more off-putting than funny.

Photo Credit Glenn Ross Photography

Directing and choreographing the review is Seth Caikowski who is well known to local audiences as a delightful comedian. He received the Henry Award for best supporting actor a few seasons ago in BDT Stage production of “The Drowsy Chaperone.” Neal Dunfee conducts the on-stage orchestra, providing excellent support to the goings-on.

The audience had no difficulty relating to most of the show’s sequences. They were thinking, “That is you.” That is me.” “That is us!” “And neither of us has changed….much”

“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”
Where: BDT Stage
5501 Arapahoe Avenue, Boulder
When: Through November 3, 218
Tickets: Box Office (303) 449-6000
For more information: BDTStage.comFacebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather