Beauty and the Beast
November 26th to February 1st.
Arden Theater 40 N. 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106/ visit website
It is time again for another Arden Theater play review. If you read Hipsterhenry.com then you know I love the plays at Arden. If you are new to HipsterHenry.com then the Arden Theater is located in Old City and does amazing children’s theater productions. The plays are always an adaptation from the original with a huge twist. Once again Arden did not just do a run of the mill play and drop it in a pretty package at your door step. I do think this play has a little bit of a darker side then what I am used to from Arden. You cannot go in there with the Disney version in your head. I mean I literally sat there and kept waiting for the clock and tea pot to come out and start singing… and I know better.
Arden’s Beauty and the Beast is all about shadow play. The set of this play has been stripped down and yet lacks nothing. Heavy canvas curtains, the talented Sebastienne Mundheim of White Box Theater creating the shadow objects, and a great group of actors pulls it all together. If you are unsure if just those three little things can keep your child’s attention you will not be after the opening shipwreck scene I promise.
The play did keep the boys attention the entire time. Along with every other little boy and girl I saw there. My youngest (3yo – almost 4) did get a little scared at certain parts but overall he was fine. You are not allowed to take pictures of the production so I do apologize for not being able to post any except the ones they gave me – but I never like to give away too much when it comes to the things that make Arden’s plays special.
Normally I get on my soapbox and encourage parents to take really little ones to Arden plays. This is one that I would say is good for 4 years old and up. If you went to Dr. Seuss you know that after the opening 15 minutes the play had a lot of humor to keep the kids entertained. This play is a lot different. This play has two acts (Seuss had one) with a 15 minute intermission. The entire feel of this play is more sophisticated.
After every play the actors come out for their bows and do a Q&A from the kids in the audience. This is always a treat. Kids had questions regarding the two kisses in the play to the costumes and lighting.
The Jungle Book is coming this spring!