Attention to detail stood out beyond the script during Chemainus Secondary School’s production of Beauty and the Beast.
The show played to a morning elementary school group for a dress rehearsal before opening up for two well-attended performances at the school’s multi-purpose room June 5 and 6.
Students who worked behind the scenes on costumes and props did an amazing job. The audience couldn’t help but notice those elements on the stage that make all the difference in properly setting the scene.
The mugs of frothy beer in the tavern scene were a nice touch. Some were even dripping down the sides and you could almost sense the suds falling to the floor.
All the costumes were masterfully put together with all the right components and accessories and the people inside them made the characters come alive in brilliant fashion.
There were some obvious nerves during the dress rehearsal and it’s always a bit of an adjustment for everyone to feel comfortable with their lines.
“Each performance after that was leaps and bounds better than the previous one,” said Chemainus Secondary band and drama teacher Siobhan Anderson, who directed the performance along with dance teacher Kim Magnan.
Throughout rehearsals and the performances, the students showed a great deal of enthusiasm.
“Some of them have more experience, too,” noted Anderson. “Some of the others this would be their first time on stage.
“I’m so happy how it went. I’m super happy with all the kids – they put in so much hard work.
“It was a great bonding experience. They were cheering each other on before the show.”
Grade 9 students Paige Ouelette (Belle) and Richard Kim (Beast, Prince) assumed two of the lead roles.
Ouelette grew enormously in a very short time and now has an incredible experience under her belt for future drama roles.
“She enjoyed that role so much,” said Anderson. “I think she’s lived and breathed that part for several months.”
Kim is a likeable guy, but found it within himself to be snarly for the Beast character.
“He had to work on that a little bit,” conceded Anderson. “That was a change from his normal character.”
Emily Reid as Gaston was simply her usual robust self, probably stemming from her experiences as a competitive wrestler.
Special mention must be given to Asa Sweet (Lumiere) and Daisy Wright (Mrs. Potts). The accents they crafted for their parts were very polished and convincing.
For sheer enthusiasm, you didn’t have to look any further than Amelia Halbot. Her squeals of delight as Silly Girl were, well, a delight.
Top to bottom, each cast member brought something distinct to the show.
I always like to listen for different lines that stand out and this performance didn’t disappoint.
“If it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it,” deadpanned Cogsworth (Kendall Smith) to Lumiere (Sweet).
And another comment directed to Lumiere reinforced his role for igniting the dialogue. “I’ve been burnt by you before,” chimed Babette (Jade Reinsch).
The show also featured some amazing dance sequences, directed by Magnan.
Anderson said she’s already started thinking about what the school’s drama/dance performance will be next year. Stay tuned.