Don’t be a bully.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a classic and I was excited to introduce my boys to the story at Toronto’s Young People Theatre (on the mainstage now until December 31, 2017.) While it’s easy to lump Belle in with all the other princesses, her tale and that of the Beast are so much more than that.
Belle (Celine Tsai) is smart, strong, ambitious and kind, and how she stands up to the town jerk Gaston (Aaron Ferguson) would make any parent proud. He’s a bully, and sadly, like in real life, it’s often easier to fall behind a ‘leader’ rather than walk your own path. One of the most inspiring messages for the kids in TOw is to watch how Belle’s kindness transforms the Beast. While Disney may wrap it up as a love story, it is really about friendship, having an open mind and showing compassion to others.
As usual I was blown away by the YPT’s costumes and Be Our Guest was everything I had hoped with the dancing tableware and the awesome Lumière (Damien Atkins) and Cogsworth the clock (Andrew Prashad). Everyone needs a Mrs. Potts (Susan Henley) in their life. My guys didn’t notice, but I was thoroughly impressed with how quickly the ensemble switched from townspeople to the characters in the castle.
So, you probably know the story’s ending, but let me tell you, the fight scene is startling and quite shocking. My five-year-old in particular was pretty upset. Let’s just say I am glad Gaston did not come out for a bow at the end – my guys might have booed and thrown their shoes on the stage. And in this case, I would say that is a sign of a good performance!
Getting there: Young People’s Theatre is at 165 Front Street East (just west of Sherbourne.) Street Parkins is $2.25/hr. On TTC, take the 504 King St. streetcar or Sherbourne bus.
Low-down: The one-act 85-minute show running Tuesdays to Sundays with eight performances during the holidays. Tickets range from $10 – $49 and can be purchased online, in person at the box office or by phone: 416-862-2222. Recommended for ages 5 and up.
Mark your calendars: Beauty and the Beast Family Workshop on Sunday, December 3rd at 1 – 2 p.m.
Potty time: Family washroom and baby chance table located on second floor near theatre’s entrance.
Snacks: No food, drink, candy or gum in theatre.
You may also like: We are so lucky to have so many theatre options in Toronto for families – here are a few to keep in mind: Ross Petty Productions, Second City, Solar Stage, Canadian Opera Company Opera for Families.