Kid Review of NIE’s Beauty and the Beast, now playing at
The New Victory Theater
by Waverly W., 10 years old, and Mom, 50 years old!
The Mom here! We’ve said it many times – we love The New Victory Theater! Their shows are always awesome, the historic theater is stunning, and it is literally steps away from many trains.  Yesterday, we were treated to a retelling of the timeless story, Beauty and the Beast. The weather forecast was beastly, though, and we almost decided not to leave the house.  If it had been anywhere else, we may have just stayed home, but the convenience of the New Victory Theater’s location made it an easy choice to make, which turned out to be the right one!  This is definitely a “can’t miss,” beautiful show that is a feast for the eyes, the ears, and the soul.  It‘s basically the same story we all know and love – a rich man who only lets beautiful people into his house is cursed when he doesn’t let someone who he does not think is beautiful inside.  He is turned into a beast and the curse can only be lifted if he finds someone to truly love him.  When Maurice (Ben Tolley) innocently tries to take a rose for his only deserving daughter, well, you know the rest. This particular retelling, however, is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced.  Haunting music, clever staging, multitalented cast members, boisterous humor, and many delightful surprises are all weaved together into one very beautiful show about the true meaning of beauty. 

Mark Dawson Photography

Waverly here! The weather was bad but inside the New Victory Theater was beautiful! When we walked in, we heard birds chirping and the stage was set to look like we were in a backyard garden.  I noticed that there were instruments on the stage and I told my mom that I thought there was going to be live music. I was so excited for that because live music always makes it better! I was right about the live music but there were so many surprises in how they tell this story!  The characters were not the usual actors who only had one role in a play. They would change around and do different things, like play instruments and narrate the show by singing. It was definitely unique and magical.  The music made it feel extra magical and the actors all were so good at singing, playing music, and making us laugh while we learned a lesson about love and beauty.  It reminded me a little of Cinderella, with the two very funny but very terrible sisters (played by Elliot Davis and Samantha Sutherland). Wait until you see what happens to them in the end!  They are so used to being rich that they can’t even pronounce the word ‘poor’ – that is one funny part in the show. 

Mark Dawson Photography

The Beast (Martin Bonger) and Isabella (Sara Lessore) also had lots of funny parts together! He was a very lovable beast, and sometimes he even asked the audience for advice, which was so funny! I loved when he and Isabella did their big dance – you just have to see it!  Isabella was a very strong girl who made her own decisions, like when she would put on the golden dress, and how she would fall in love.  She taught the Beast all about true love and how “it’s the thought that counts – not the value of the gift.” (Note from Mom – this is a great reminder right before the holiday season hits!). The show also makes us realize that “different is wonderful” – well, this was definitely a different way to see Beauty and the Beast, and if definitely WAS wonderful! You will definitely think so, too.

Mark Dawson Photography

Back to Mom! Do not miss this.  You will absolutely love it. The music, the message, the show are all … beautiful.

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