This post may contain affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy for details.

sharing is caring

Erin Tierney and Tom Patrick Proprofsky delight in Camino Real Playhouse’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Disney's Beauty and the Beast starring Erin Tierney - Review.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway 30 years ago in 1994. With an upcoming U.S. National Tour to be mounted next year and Disney Theatrical Group celebrating its 30 years on Broadway, no time could be more fitting for local community theatre, Camino Real Playhouse, is staying the family favorite musical.

Directed by Robb Rigg (Co-Founder of The South Orange County School of the Arts) with choreography by Joanna Tsang-Segelson, this community production proves that Disney’s Beauty and the Beast still has the ability to captivate audiences of young and old if the Friday night audience’s enthusiastic standing ovation was anything to judge it on.

Does Camino Real Playhouse bring anything new to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast that hasn’t been seen or done in 30 years? No. However, that’s not to say that this show isn’t deserving of its extended run and having 85% of its tickets sold before opening night. Where does the show proves its magic? With its enthusiastic and engaging cast, led by the charming Erin Tierney (Belle) and hilarious Tom Patrick Proprofsky (Gaston), the show makes for a charming and delightfully clean evening out for the whole family in San Juan Capistrano, California.

Erin Tierney and Ensemble in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. (c) Camino Real Playhouse
Erin Tierney and Ensemble in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (c) Camino Real Playhouse

Erin Tierney makes her Camino Real Playhouse debut as Belle but she is no stranger to Disney magic as an entertainment cast member at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. Her Belle is fresh and beautiful. She demonstrates great comedic timing in “Me” and a magical smile that invites you to invest your attention and interest in her performance for the duration of the show. Her second act solo, “A Change in Me” is her strongest moment vocally as she convinces the audience believe that perhaps her relationship with the Beast isn’t a case of Stockholm syndrome.

The show’s ultimate scene stealers however have to be Tom Patrick Proprofsky as Gaston and Jason Pascual as his sidekick LeFou. These two are hilarious and had the audience holding their sides from laughing so hard. I do have to wonder whether Proprofsky might have not made a most convincing Beast but there is no denying that his performance as Gaston is one of the best reasons to fork out the cash to see Camino Real Playhouse’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Teaming up with Proprofsky and Pascual in Act Two as Monsieur D’Arque is Rich Hutchinson who perfectly fits the casting analysis as “slimy, creepy, and conniving” with surprisingly commanding tenor vocals in “Maison des Lunes”.

Rounding out the company of villagers are Gary Greene (Maurice), who has a realistic chemistry with Erin Tierney, and Maggie Kuhn, Lauren Lugo, and Brooke Lynn Belt as the Silly Girls. Of the four actors, Maggie Kuhn was one I could not tear my eyes away from. It was a delight to see a woman over 40 being cast as one of the Silly Girls and her comedic chemistry with Proprofsky was aces.

Maggie Kuhn and Tom Patrick Proprofsky in Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Maggie Kuhn, Tom Patrick Proprofsky, Brooke Lynn Belt and Ensemble in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. (c) Camino Real Playhouse

In the enchanted castle, Winston Peacock gave a commendable performance as the Beast although he seemed to be shortchanged because for some reason Costume Designer Brigitte Harper decided to have him go without a tail and so he spent 90% of his time on stage fidgeting with his cape.

His faithful servants were all standouts however and made up for their lackluster costuming choices with their strong vocals and great comedic timing. Charlie Massey (Cogsworth) and Lauren Belt (Madame de la Grande Bouche) impressed with their vocals and Sarah Glick‘s Babette was positively adorable and hilariously matched by Christopher Vournas‘ Lumiere and Kathy Villanueva (Mrs. Potts) did the title song justice with her gorgeous soprano.

All in all, the lead cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Camino Real Playhouse did justice to their iconic roles and did a great job moving the show along at a brisk pace.

Unfortunately, Brigitte Harper‘s costume design choices left a lot to be desired. When you charge $42-52 per ticket, your audience expects excellence in all aspects of the production and yet the costuming and hair choices were at times … deplorable. There is just no other way to describe it.

Take for instance, Belle’s yellow ballgown. This dress is what little girls should be dreaming about as they curl up in their beds when they get home from the show. A white petticoat (?) hanging below the dress dragged and looked as if a seamstress might have forgotten to pin it up causing the iconic look to be a terrible letdown while Belle’s rose dress that she wears in Act Two during “Something There” and the Library scene looked as if it was at least two sizes too big for Belle and she was literally wearing a hand-me-down from Madame de la Grande Bouche. Awkward! And this is the leading lady’s costume selection we are talking about!

I won’t even bother going on about the ensemble costumes during “Be Our Guest” and “Human Again”. Just suffice it to say that when you can’t tell what enchanted objects the cast are supposed to be, you know you’re in trouble.

When it comes to community theater, I try to stay positive and yet when the audience is expected to shell out between $42-52 per ticket I feel obligated to point out a show’s weak point.

Looking for some Disney magic? Want a fun night out with the family? If you haven’t yet bought your tickets to see Camino Real Playhouse’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, go for the performances. The cast give it their all and with the above mentioned highlights you will enjoy yourself tremendously. However, if you would find tacky costume choices and strange wig/hair choices by the ensemble to be distracting – this might not be the show for you.

My thanks to Leslie Eisner and Camino Real Playhouse for my complimentary admission to review Disney’s Beauty and the BeastAll opinions are my own.

Come See Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Where: Camino Real Playhouse, 31776 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, California 92675

When: May 26, 2024 – June 16, 2024 (Tickets)

What’s Up Next: Jekyll & Hyde – The Musical, September 6, 2024 – September 22, 2024 (Tickets)

More Posts to Read

Sharing is Caring

Erin Tierney as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Camino Real Playhouse.