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A tale as old as time

That, of course, brings us to the entire point of "Beauty and the Beast:" looks are at best skin deep and very deceiving. One must look beyond the outer shell to find the true person within.

The actors ably depict people trapped under the curse of the evil witch, and become more and more inanimate as the days wear on. The candelabra sings, dances and runs the show, the clock runs the household, the teapot is a kindly mother and the broken teacup, well, he's a chip off the old block. Dishes dance and sing, as do napkins, flower arrangements and silverware; and there's an armoire who longs for the days when she appeared singing opera before the king of England.

Paula Ginder as Mrs. Potts the housekeeper-turned-teapot is perfection. Her singing of the title song conveys all the warmth and love that any Disney tune can muster. Elisa Beth Verb is Madame de la Grand Bouche, and a grand bouche (mouth) she has. Her operatic musings snap the night air and make one sit up and take notice. Gregory Rose, Cogsworth, is perfect in his performance as the head of the staff turned into a grandfather clock. He becomes more ruffled and excited as the show progresses and is quite obviously losing control of his tightly run ship. Jason Jacoby is Lumiere, half-candelabra, half-man, who positively steals the show whenever he is onstage. Jacoby is incandescent in his role as a singing, dancing candleholder. His French accent, his movements on stage in spite of a costume that appears to be woefully cumbersome, prove him light on his feet, and his singing and acting ignite a spark whenever he appears.

Owen Smith took the director's reins of this show and rode it home in fine form. The Delmar native has made his Park Playhouse directorial debut a smash.

"Beauty and The Beast" is a perfect night out for the entire family. The show runs Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 8 p.m. through August 20. Admission is free. Reserved seating is available ticket prices are $10 and $12. Call the box office at 434-0776.""

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