When it comes to musicals at Milken, the music department seems to outdo itself every year. This year’s production of Beauty and the Beast set a very high standard for any future Milken musical or leading cast to live up to. The sets were well prepared and realistically made, the special effects (although glitchy, smelly, and loud at times) were appropriately used and very advanced, the crew members diligently worked to execute every small detail perfectly, and the cast was able to portray their characters perfectly, from their songs to their French accents.
The lead roles of Belle and the Beast, played by Kenzie Caplan ’12 and Jacob Schatz ’11 respectively, had a wonderful on-stage chemistry. Caplan’s voice blew away every audience member, leaving them completely wonderstruck. Schatz, who has had leading roles in school musicals before, was able to convey the Beast’s character and attitude extremely well. But, the lead actors were not the only characters that caught everyone’s attention. Lumier, played by Jonathan Steinschriber ’12, and Cogsworth, played by Adin Eshman ’11, were crowd favorites with their convincing accents and hilarious portrayals. Another favorite was Chip, played by Jack Zager, a Stephen S. Wise Temple elementary school student, who was always able to put a smile on everyone’s face. However, there was not a single character that was not adored by the audience; whether it was Maurice, a teacup, Mrs. Pots, one of Gaston’s fan girls, or a fork, every cast member played his or her part perfectly, showing how appropriately the cast was picked out.
The crewmembers, although never seen by the audience, made an obvious impact on the show during every scene. If ever a microphone stopped working, the crew fixed the problem within seconds, making the technical errors almost unnoticeable. By ensuring the lighting and sound ran smoothly at every moment, the crew executed a professional, aesthetically-pleasing show for the audience.
The sets and props looked as if they had jumped straight out of the Disney movie. It helped draw the audience into the musical and make the play seem more realistic. From Belle’s famous yellow ball gown to the Beast’s horrifying appearance to Gaston’s signature outfit, the costumes were also very well planned out.
The only setback, as many audience members can remember, was one of the special effects, the fog. Even though it did release a bad odor and subsequently caused the fire alarm to go off during multiple nights of performances, it was only one inconsistency amongst various other successful special effects, like the gunshots and lightning.
Overall, I believe that this year’s production of Beauty and the Beast is one of the best, if not the best, production Milken has put on. It makes me anxious to see what the theater department will release next year while also brings back an old childhood love for Disney princess movies that I have lost throughout my high school career.
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Photos taken by Dustin Myers.