DISNEY'S "BEAUTY AND THE BEAST," through March 26, CenterPoint Legacy Theatre, 525 N. 400 West, Centerville (801-298-1302 or centerpointtheatre.org); running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes (one intermission)
CENTERVILLE — Filled with plenty of razzle-dazzle, bells and whistles, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at CenterPoint Legacy Theatre has enough pizzazz to entertain little ones and grown-ups.
Director Maurie Tarbox has assembled a large cast of community performers that fills the stage with enough energy to power all those stage lights. In fact, the group numbers are the standouts of this production. Gaston’s scene in the tavern and “Be Our Guest” are particular high points.
Liz Christensen’s choreography is fun and peppy — bravo to both Christensen and the cast for the clanking cup bit during “Gaston,” which was well done.
Brad Shelton’s set design works well. With numerous scenes that require large set pieces, his designs are slick, and the cast is adept at moving them while keeping the pacing. The only distraction is in Act 2 when the plates and other enchanted items suddenly come out to move set pieces. Though one can assume they’re in costume for the next scene, it does pull focus.
On Tuesday night, Tyler Brignone’s Beast transitioned nicely from an agitated animal into a boyish character with puppylike sweetness. He did a terrific job selling “If I Can’t Have Her.” Daniel Fredrickson is having entirely too much fun as Gaston and has a wonderful baritone voice.
Christine Smith is a beautiful Belle — also thanks to Lindsea Garside’s hair and makeup design — and she has nice moments with both the Beast and her father, played well by Brett Klumpp. Some of the vocal transitions seemed to challenge Smith on Tuesday night, but that could have been due to fatigue from the demanding tech-week schedule leading up to opening night.
The rest of the ensemble, from the candlestick down to the rug, is engaging and fun to watch.
Kudos to all involved with creating the exotic costumes designed by Jenny Richardson, and special applause for the beautiful ball gown designed by Sterling Hanks.
Other imaginative staffers helped create character transformations, fight scenes, tense wolf chases and magical moments that are tricky to pull off onstage.
A handful of small or transitional scenes had slow pacing, and the stage adaptation features seven added songs that are not in the movie. This makes for a late end on a school night for young audience members. Luckily, CenterPoint offers matinees, as well.
Erica Hansen was the theater editor at the Deseret News for more than three years. An area performer, she was also the original host of the radio program "Showtune Saturday Night."