Chicken and Nugget LOVE Beauty and the Beast. We have seen the animated version, the live action version, the incredible production at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the local Pixie Dust Productions Christmas show. Even after all of this, Nugget still periodically asks when the show “is coming back to town.” After nearly a year-and-a-half of surviving on the movie versions alone, he was finally in luck.
Beaverton Civic Theatre is doing an “in concert” adaptation. I didn’t know what this meant at first, but it basically means they do the script and the songs without the props, staging, or other production elements. The entire cast was dress in all black, used only simple movement, and otherwise relied entirely on their voices and acting. When I tried to explain this to Chicken ahead of time, she said “I don’t need choreography. I just need real acting.” Diva.
The show was very well cast and it is one of the strongest shows we have seen at Beaverton Civic theater. Because it is such a familiar story to so many, it is easy for your imagination to fill in the set around them. The actors were very strong and there were some beautiful voices. It was clear that the cast was having fun. I think Nugget missed the glitz and glam that come along with fancy costumes and elaborate staging, but he still smiled and laughed. Chicken and I thoroughly enjoyed it and thought it was very well done. They did a lot with very little, and the end result was impressive.
It is the full-length version, meaning it is close to 2.5 hours long with an intermission, so keep that in mind when deciding whether or not to take your little. Very young children may also miss the familiar costumes and sets, but older children will likely love it.
What it’s not- fancy staging and costumes, short
What it is- very well done, talented local cast, a great community theater to support, very reasonably priced ($10), a well acted rendition of a classic Disney favorite.