Reviewed by DAVID HILL
Right from the opening number, Beauty and the Beast hit the right note.
The Hartley School of Performing Arts’ annual senior and intermediate production didn’t disappoint at the Rangiora Town Hall last Thursday evening, with my 8-year-old son, Tristan, as my “critic”.
The show began at Prince Raphael’s castle with the classic song You’re So Vain, which summed the high opinion the prince (played by Anaru Shadbolt) had of himself in his ability to woo any woman, particularly the hand of Lady Lee-Anna (Michelle O’Brien) in marriage.
But Lady Lee-Anna happened to be an enchantress and promptly cast a different sort of spell on the unsuspecting prince, turning him into the Beast. Only true love could break the spell, but there was the added catch that the prince and his servants were unable to leave the castle until the spell was broken.
This was followed by the introduction of Belle (Beauty, played by Hannah Powell), who happened to be Tristan’s favourite, and her family.
Belle was a much more thoughtful and considerate person, summed up by her opening number, You Make My Dreams Come True
In scene three, we were introduced to the villain Victor le Marque, strutting like a peacock to the the classic number I’m Too Sexy