Sunday turned into a very fun day! Beauty and the Beast was a very well-done production, and I have never seen the Pioneer Theater so full! It was a matinee, too, so there was a very high percentage of little girls in princess dresses too. My niece made it through the whole thing,but she did spend most of act one on her grandma's lap and most of act two on mine. I think her mother was probably aghast. But there were lots of other kids sitting on people's laps so I figured it was no big deal.
Anyways, the show was fun, but they definitely didn't add much in the music department. I recognized most of the songs from the movie and they were solid but the filler songs that were added were all pretty weak and the kiddo and I both got fidgety during those (they were all ballads too, ugh). Costumes, sets and effects were all lovely. There were some neat bits when they're being attacked by wolves in the snow in the forest so they had a transparent scrim come own at the front of the stage and then projected blowing snow on it and they had people in black behind it doing big wolf puppet things that looked pretty darn cool. That was a terrible explanation.
You know what else was terrible? The sound, dammit. I swear all the sound guys in this town are deaf! The whole show is very lyric-heavy and a lot of the big numbers are already a little hard to understand but when the pit is miked and totally overpowering it is kind of annoying. For the prices of these tickets we should be able to hear and understand at least the leads, if not the chorus as well. Although understanding the chorus is a pet peeve of mine, and also why I wish all English operas had supertitles, especially Gilbert and Sullivan.
Overall, a fun show, and suitable for modern wannabe princesses of all ages, although clearly 4.5 is a hair on the young side. Belle is interesting and proactive, always trying to stand up for herself and what she thinks is right. There are a lot worse Disney princesses out there to choose from. Also kudos for a show with both male leads NOT being tenors. I love me some baritone goodness.
And then Matt and I went to a gorgeous, mostly vegetarian dinner party. I need to replicate the non-veggie bit, it was this amazing shrimp in a cream sauce but it involved flambe'ing them in Sambuca first and it was so subtle I never would have been able to ID the flavor if it hadn't been for the big poof of flame. Then there was an amazing Thai-inspired beet soup and zucchini fritters in homemade tomato sauce. Personally I like a fritter to be crispier, but it was a grand showing from someone who would normally prefer to feed us steaks and things stuffed with cheese.
Now I just have to figure out what to make next time we have him over. Last time if I recall the starter was a creamy corn chowder (very time and calorie intensive but worth it, only in corn season though) and then a ridiculously nice piece of halibut from Whole Paycheck. I love dinner parties.