The last day of the year begins with inspiration and fulfillment! Paramount’s Beauty and the Beast is taking a meaningful place in the traditions of celebrating these holidays for so many individuals and families. Just minutes ago, I found an email to Tim and me:
“I had my grandkids from Ireland and CA here for the Holidays and they joined their local cousins at the Sunday presentation of BatB. It was memorable for them and for me. Thank you for all of the hard work that is so evident in this masterpiece. Happy New Year and let’s have a great new Decade here in Aurora.”
This goes down well with a morning cup of joe!
Is this a dream? No. I never dreamed this could happen. But I think Tim has. (Happy Tim Rater Day yesterday!). I think Amber Mak who directed this production has. (This is Amber’s fifth show here). I still pinch myself that it’s real and genuine. The cooperation and collaboration of so many creative imaginations doing their honest best to bring art, story, music and audiences together is authentically establishing a foundation in Downtown Aurora. I never dreamed I could be a part of something like this.
Here’s another sampling of what is so fulfilling about it all. Let’s call this “Tales from the FOH” (Front of House), a few episodes from the daily End of Show Reports by our staff and Stage manager, Jinni Pike.
At the end of his fantastic song about himself, Gaston (Emmett O’Hanlon) proposes marriage: “So Belle, what’ll it be? Is it “Yes” or is it “Oh, yes!”? Suddenly with no hesitation, a little girl shouts from her seat to the stage, “NO!” and shuts him down! The audience loses it! Imagine the actors!
Then last week, late in ACT 2, When Lumiere (Jackson Evans) says to Cogsworth (George Keating), “We’ll never be human again,” “YES, YOU WILL”! a little kid yells to him. This audience erupts into laughter and applause as the little one can be heard saying, “What?” Later in the Finale, Cogsworth ad-libs, “That child was right, we’re human again” and the crowd goes crazy!
This kind of joy casts a spell over all of us. It’s healthy and healing. The story is fictional but the experience is real, palpable, a credit and high praise to the artistry of these actors. How rarely we experience such vulnerability together, so sweetly emotional.
One more: At the end of the show Belle (Beth Stafford Laird) and her prince once the Beast (Paul-Jordan Jansen) waltz romantically under a gentle cascade from above of rose petals happily ever after. As one of our packed houses is leaving the show through the Grand Gallery, House Manager Melinda Ray observed what I found to be such a moving, sentimental moment: ” …a young boy – probably no more than ten and his mother ” are seen waltzing together out of the theater. Can you just see it lighting up everyone watching?
This kind of joy casts a spell over all of us. It’s healthy and healing. The story is fictional but the experience is real, palpable, a credit and high praise to the artistry of these actors. How rarely we experience such vulnerability together, so sweetly emotional. Well, I’m a sentimental old fool!
As grandfather emailed us this morning: “Happy New Year and let’s have a great new Decade here in Aurora.”
I couldn’t say it better myself!
Love & thanks,