War and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Luke Adams (fellow cast member from Torrance’s Joseph (2004) and Camelot (2005)) was cast as the Beast in Starlight Theatre’s outdoor production and did an incredible job. I was lucky enough to head down there for the closing performance. We left Orange County around 3:30 with the hopes of catching a movie before the show. Success on both fronts!

War featuring Jason Statham and Jet Li

This was a very exciting film, portraying the tale of Rogue, a Yakuza (Japanese mob) hitman who pits Yakuza members in San Francisco against the Triad (Chinese mob), and John Crawford, a member of the FBI’s Asian Organized Crime unit out to avenge his partner’s death (to the extent of all else – his marriage, his son, etc.). Aside from Jet Li and Jason Statham being incredible fighters, the story was really solid and really enjoyable. At least that’s what I can claim – I had a huge niggling problem with the “prestige” and I can only assume that I missed something in the first 5 minutes that explains it all (we were late getting into the theatre). As in Rush Hour 3, this film was deeply embedded with Asian cultural concepts – honor being a huge proponent. Just another awesome piece of culture that continues to increase my fascination with Asian culture (the other piece being Newt Gingrich’s Pearl Harbor). A must see!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast presented by Starlight Theatre in San Diego

I haven’t seen the show but once a long time ago, so for me it was basically another Disney musical adaptation (i.e. I don’t hate it as much as Lion King). Starlight performs in Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl, which is unfortunately very close to the airport. What’s that? You don’t see how an airport right next to an outdoor ampitheatre might be a problem? Why else would the program list a Plane Spotter? So that was a fairly amusing aspect to the performance. According to the cast, the pit has a traffic light set up to warn actor’s of incoming planes…the evening’s policy was to hold for dialogue, but previous policy was to interrupt musical numbers as well (basically it was up to the conductor). Despite these grandiose interruptions, I enjoyed the show very much.
The director gave Cogsworth a German accent. Nicely done. Interesting having the three minor players (Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth) thus representing France, England and Germany…especially in a French castle…

There was something I wanted to say about Belle…something about a French maiden really enjoying something so anti-French…but the moment has passed…

Lefou was short….really reminiscent of the cartoon – very cool
All in all, a fantastic performance. And what better way to really enjoy theatre then by going to Friday’s with the cast afterwards! It just amuses me so that Friday’s is practically a theatre tradition…at least in Southern California.

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