Be Our Guest at ISL’s 2022 Musical

Anjali Bhimani, Writer

It was 19:08 on Wednesday the 23rd of March when everyone was sitting on the blue seats of the auditorium. Parents were eagerly waiting to see their children perform, babies were crying, a little girl was dressed up as Belle, and children were waiting to see the tale as old as time: “Beauty and the Beast”.


It has been over two years since the last theatre production at ISL due to Covid-19, and the auditorium was crowded. Some may agree that it felt surprisingly strange to be in a room full of people without masks.


The orchestra started playing, the lights dimmed, and the enchantress appeared with the rose in a container. That initial start felt magical, and the curtains opened to show Belle on the stage. Belle sang “Belle”, and one after the other, as scenes continued, characters appeared: Gaston, the ensemble, LeFou, and Papa.


Perhaps one of the most eventful parts of the show was after the wolf chase scene when there was a little slippery collapse of the tree prop on the set. However, like any other professional production, the show went on smoothly. The comedic timing gave the audience something to talk about whilst the set for the next scene was being prepared. Not only was this hilarious, but in the following castle scene, Cogsworth (Merichel Herman) was profoundly comical, and deserves a special mention for making the audience laugh.

Nika Gromova


The most anticipated moment was the Beast’s entrance, and he left quite the impression! His mask was a smart decision as it made the actor resemble a beast. The acting and body language also showed anger just as in the movies and books. One point of discussion could be how the actor’s voice didn’t come across as scary, almost toning down the aggressiveness of the Beast. However, the original story has brought up many questions related to Stockholm syndrome, with Belle falling in love with the aggressive Beast who kept her captive. However this softened version of the Beast was much better because it transformed the Beast into a character that was more sympathetic yet still majestic.


The visual feast of “Be Our Guest” exploded onto the stage complete with confetti cannons for our pride and pleasure. One must give credit to the creativity for the cutlery costumes; Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, Chip, and Madame de la Grande Bouche who all had very loud costumes that fit their characters perfectly. The dancing and singing roused the audience to an upbeat applause… if only some of the costumes had managed to stay intact and Cogsworth’s “appendage” had managed to hang on! The knives, plates, and forks’ impeccable dancing and vocals made “Be Our Guest” one of the most memorable performances. 


At this point, one major concern had spread throughout the audience: the long transitions between scenes. This was initially considered understandable as it was the first performance, however, it eventually became irritating. After all, waiting for multiple minutes in silence after each scene is quite boring.


Every musical has songs, but some of them stay with the audience because of how incredible the performance is. This is what happened with “Maison des Lunes”. The singing, the music, and the movements all came together really well. Special shoutout to Gaston (Alice Nobs), the Monsieur D’Arques (Sahana + Ginevra), and LeFou (Amanda Saenz), who were part of the song.


After “Maison des Lunes” came Belle and the Beast’s dance, which lived up to all our expectations. The choreography was stunning, Belle’s yellow gown was magnificent. The audience was ecstatic and cheering in joy. Then came the final scene, where the Beast finally turns into a human again. There was creativity with projecting an animated transformation of the Beast, however it was long and unclear, which could have confused the audience somewhat. 


Although the production wasn’t perfect, it was nice to have one after so long. It’s easy to critique any weaknesses, but overall it was a grand spectacle. The quality of the singing, dancing, and acting was very high, more impressive than expected. Although I was hesitant to spend my evening watching a high school musical, I’m glad I did because the months of hard work came through. Ultimately, every performance has its flaws and strengths, but that’s what makes it unique, and this performance did put smiles on a lot of faces, which is what matters.