The B Street Theatre lies discreetly tucked in behind the Stanford Park Baseball Fields. Inside, the scene is small and intimate, half the cast made up of acting interns, seating practically on stage allowing the audience of about 50 people to be incredibly close to the live action. But do not let its quaint appearance fool you.
"Beauty and the Beast," by Charles Way, opened with a roar Saturday. This is the B Street Theatre’s third and final show of the 2009-2010 family series, completing its eighth season.
Advertised as "Beauty and the Beast with some punk," the show produced a fresh take. While the plot may deviate from the wonderfully loved Disney classic, the end result was still the same.
After a daring gamble gone wrong, Belle’s father Godwin must move the family, including sister Cassandra, to a new location — one not as rich as the family is accustomed to. On a tip, Godwin looks to retrieve some fortune, only to lose his way and find himself in the clutches of a Beastman. Once there, Godwin agrees to exchange one of his daughters to spare his own life. It is only after living with the Beast that Belle is able to understand and accept him, ultimately falling in love with him.
No story would be complete without a life lesson, and this one bears plenty. The plot is overwhelming with reminders to avoid jealousy and replace it with kindness instead, and teaches kids (and even adults) that sometimes it is okay to follow your heart over your head.
The show was a bit scary at times, packed with plenty of screaming, growling, thunder and lightning. Yet through the frightening sound effects, children fell fast in love with the cast, from the beautifully costumed Belle to the strong and powerful Beast.
While most comedic spots were aimed at the adult audience, the show had everyone giggling with joy during one particular scene. As the Beast sat to play a piano and Belle squeaked out the first few notes of song, the audience erupted with laughter.
Afterward, children were heard outside exclaiming their enjoyment over the show, and were overcome with excitement as they were each personally thanked by the cast.
When deciding whether to take your family out, it is as the Beast says: "Sometimes it is better just to act, otherwise we’d all be in bed still."
The Beauty and the Beast will be showing Saturdays and Sundays at 1pm and 4pm from April 10-May 23, . Ticket prices for the event are $15-$22. The B Street Theatre is located at 2711 B St. For more information on this show, and others, call 916-443-5300.