What a Performance!

Santa Barbara High School's Beauty and the Beast is a magical musical production by an immensely talented cast with professional support. Kudos!

Visually rich and pitch-perfect, the magic begins with the clever use of Indonesian puppets – a cold-hearted prince is transformed into a beast who, in order to break the spell, must conquer inner demons and learn to love and be loved in return.

Jana McIntyre is Belle, with a beautiful stage presence and a knockout beyond-her-years sound. Her lyrical voice sings to our collective soul, so from the first scene in the village to the finale in the castle, we follow her, enthralled by every word, note, and step. She is a perfect Belle, indeed, and since Jana is only a sophomore, we'll be seeing more of this gifted girl. Brava!

Gaston, handsome without and beastly within, is played by Cole Patterson in a wonderfully obnoxious, creepy knee-bending way, and together with his Jerry Lewis-like foil, Lefou, (Kristian "Kso" Sorenson), and the sultry and sinister Madame D'Arque (Georgia Zeavin), the three display marvelous comedic timing and make memorable moments. Bravi!

"Critter" Canfield does a remarkable job singing, moving, and emoting in his impressive Beast costume designed by Academy Award winner (“The Fly” 1986) Chris Walas. Critter’s solo, "If I Can't Love Her," gives us a good look at the beauty within the Beast and with just a few small gestures and a great, strong voice, we experience a change of heart. Navigating the grand staircase in platform shoes, a huge mask, and very little lighting must be beastly difficult! Bravo!

Belle's father, Maurice, is well-played by Michael Landecker. With a loving tone and a touch of gray hair, parental love and the importance of self-acceptance played a part and made a point in this Mother's Day performance.

When Belle returns to the castle, we applaud as the real monster, Gaston, is dispatched through a castle window. After the mayhem, Belle caresses the dying Beast with an emotional and haunting "Is This Home?" and the magic words, "I love you," and, well you’ll have to see the play to find out what happens next.

The Castle characters are played with aplomb---it's not easy to be a clock, a teapot, or a wardrobe, so my hat's off to Remy Saint-Denis, Zac Frank, Kendra Costigan, Julia Olsen, Ezana Okomo, Jenna Tico, Carlin Traxler, et al, as well as The Silly Girls, (Maddy Sachs, Annie Spirka, Olivia Ghersen) and the entire ensemble.

"Be Our Guest!" was a twirling furniture ballet made even merrier by napkin puppets; "The Mob Song" and the tavern scenes were standouts. The costumes are sumptuous, dazzling, and deserving of praise, as is the choreography, set and lighting design, so kudos to Lise Lange, Christina McCarthy, Mike Madden and the rest of the crew.

The music and lyrics by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice couldn't come to life without the musical direction of Norma LaTuchie and the live orchestra, directed by Charlie Ortega.

It's "a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme – Beauty and The Beast!"

Otto Layman, the director, is the best of the best. Equipment valued at $30,000 was burglarized and the only way of knowing this was a mention in the director's notes and in Montecito Journal. It is no surprise this theater department was invited to Edinburgh's Fringe Festival. Three more performances of Beauty and the Beast are scheduled (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 15, 16, 17, at 7 pm). Call 805-966-9101 ext 220 or visit www.sbhstheatre.com to order tickets.

Watch out for Vendini, the online ticket service; I bought my tickets through it and paid $75 for my front-row center seat because I was told the show was sold out! Nevertheless, it was worth every penny.

Kate Longstory

Santa Barbara

Dear Mr. Supervisor

I wish to show my support of the Miramar Project with the numerous environmental studies that have been done either by previous owners and now by Caruso Affiliated. Based on those studies, the Miramar project will have no significant impact on the notable issues that have been brought up by the community. The Miramar has been a hotel for over 100 years and it is visible from the highway. It is important to have this eyesore built and completed as a prospective hotel. In regards to the Board of Architectural Review and other such committees, they have positive comments on this proposed project, and Caruso Affiliated has met all the project requirements and fits into the scale in a naturalistic cottage style that complements the neighboring community.

It would be a benefit to the community and Santa Barbara to have this project built, not only for the generated revenue it would potentially bring, but also for the prospective green construction of this project. It is indeed a major interest for humanity and Caruso is in alignment with that construction using green materials. This project needs to be built; otherwise how many more years will it be an eyesore and loss of revenue? In fact, how many more developers, if Caruso Affiliated does not proceed, would ever take this project on?

Dana Hansen

Summerland

(Publisher's Note: We trust that Caruso will follow through with his plan to develop a first-class hotel at the Miramar site, but if he discovers he’ll be facing years of litigation, we would understand if he tried to pass the project on to yet another ambitious developer. ~TLB)