Friday, July 11, 2008

Zilker Summer Musical (Beauty & The Beast) - Austin, TX

We finally got to the first of our adventures for the Summer Adventure Challenge. Last night we went to see Beauty & The Beast at the Zilker Hillside Theater, the 50th annual offering from the Zilker Summer Musical. The play, as always, was free, but they've started charging $3 for parking for big events like this. We parked at the soccer fields across the street because we only had a dollar with us. People show up about 5:30 or 6pm, so the hillside fills up fast for the 8:30 show. We got there at 8 and joined some family that had gotten there earlier. Our view was partially obscured by the lighting arch, but we were still close enough to gawk at the costume detailing.

The puppetry for the prologue was very inventive--I had wondered how they were going to do that. The flash you see is the old woman turning into the lovely sorceress.

I loved looking at the costumes (blame the history buff in me), and the most curious thing I noticed is that the play was set a good 50 years before the movie. I haven't seen the Broadway version, so I can't say how this play differs from that one, but our costumes were definitely 50 years before the costumes in the movie. They were still beautiful, and delightfully detailed, though. The wolves were very clever, and my favorite servant was the sugar tongs.

The children were all entranced by the action on stage.

At intermission the cast members come out with donation buckets. It's a fun tradition--everyone loves getting to see a part of the play come out among us, and it gives everyone the chance to contribute what they can to the cause. (For those who are curious, it took $200k to put on this year's production.)

By the end of the play, my son had gotten really into it. When Belle left to go help her father, he kept asking "Where'd go, Lella?" I tried to tell him that it wasn't Cinderella, it was Belle, but eventually gave up and told him she went to help her daddy. Then, when the beast and Gaston were fighting, he would gasp and look at me with this funny little fish mouth every time something happened.

It was a late night, the play getting over just after 11. We took naps in the afternoon to get ready, but everyone was still wiped out.

I asked my daughter, this morning, how she liked the play, and she said it was good. She liked the songs and the clothes, and thought it was fun that the actors got to play dress-up and pretend to be the people in the story.

1 comment:

Corinne said...

I can't BELIEVE they don't charge admission for that show. It looks FANTASTIC! Thanks for the pictures - what a neat tradition.