Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Phamaly's Beauty and the Beast

The stars were shining bright at the amphitheater of the Arvada Center, but shining brightest was the cast of Phamaly. Ready to show us what it is to be human in Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast.” The first time I saw Phamaly (The Physically Handicapped Actors & Musical Artists League) perform I was struck. Not just by the fact that every actor has a disability ranging from blindness, paralysis to hearing disabilities, but that you will find yourself embracing their characters, disabilities and who they are, because that’s exactly what these actors do.
Surprises always add an edge to a show. And this show was full of them. If you are familiar with “Beauty and the Beast” you must remember Chip and Mrs. Potts. Talk about transforming characters. Their paralysis was worked in by building teacups around their wheelchairs. And the creativity is as big as the ego of Gaston who was so convincing I wanted to pop out of my front row seat and rescue Maurice.
Every character hones their craft, transcending their disability. The casting of the show was spot on. Belle couldn’t have been sweeter; Lefou quirkier, Lumiere and the Feather duster more flirtatious and the Chest of drawers vainer, but you love her anyway. Every single character was in their element, drawing you closer and closer to the stage.
Disney movies always made me believe in magic as a kid. But Phamaly proves that magic is real.

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