Reviews

Play Review: Beauty and the Beast

One of my favorite bedtime stories, when I was younger, was Beauty and the Beast. I was thrilled to be invited to watch this play by Repertory Philippines, which they offer in honor of the Repertory Theater for Young Audiences’ Silver Anniversary. The version they chose was the one by Peter del Valle and John Ahearn which is the closest to the original version by French author Gabrielle Villeneuve. Beauty and the Beast has gone through many adaptations since it’s debut in 1740 but Repertory Philippines chose this version and made a very entertaining show. Directed by Joy Virata, the musical runs for 75 minutes and has 4 sets of casts. In partnership with Ayala Multi-Purpose Cooperative, the proceeds from the play last October 21, 2017, will go to the HERO Foundation. From their website, HERO stands for Help Educate and Rear Orphans, so every ticket counts. If you want to give a donation, become a volunteer or give a scholarship, click here.

The posters were a huge draw for me since they looked authentic for the story. I had a front row seat so I could see all the details on the costumes and the makeup and the set. Beauty was played by Alana Vicente and Jos Jalbuena was the Beast. Maya Encila’s Fifi, Hans Eckstein’s Pierre, Steven Hotchkiss’ Jacques, and Ayam Eckstein’s Mimi were the showstoppers for me though. Their songs were livelier and the dancing exuberant in their numbers. The story is so far from the Disney version that it was a refreshing change of pace. I am looking forward to attending more plays like this in the future. My toddler was enraptured with all the singing and dancing up until the Beast started chasing people. That bit scared him a lot! Personally, I loved the show and wished it went on longer than the 75 minutes we sat there, not counting the 15-minute intermission. I still have “The Laughing Song” stuck in my head until now, that’s how good it was. There’s a photo opportunity after curtain call, and most of the audience flocked towards downstage to have a picture with the cast. We didn’t get the opportunity but I got some candid shots anyway.

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I would recommend this for any fairytale reader, any bookworm, any play buff and any parent. The price of admission is worth it, the culture and entertainment of this level is worth it. Drinks and food are not allowed in the theatre but they gave out loot for the kids after the show. Beauty and the Beast by Repertory Philippines will run until December 14, 2017, so you have plenty of time to catch it at Greenbelt 1 Onstage. Tickets are available at Ticketworld ranging from P400-700 depending on the seats you choose. Hurry and buy tickets for the whole family and get whisked back to your childhood. This time, you get to introduce your own children to your beloved childhood heroes and watch them fall in love just like you did.

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