Archive for March 2014

Poet At Large Reviews, Live Theatre, Spanish Fork Youtheatre Presents, Beauty and The Beast Jr.   Leave a comment

I mentioned in my last post that it is important to encourage our children and our community.  This last Wednesday night found me once again in a High School Auditorium.  This time the one at Spanish Fork High School for the Spanish Fork Youtheatre production of ‘Disney’s Beauty and The Beast’.  My motivation for traveling to see the play was very personal.  One of the Sheep in the second scene was played by my ginger haired 11 year old daughter.  My daughter who I refer to as Roo on line lives with her grandmother in Spanish Fork.  This makes attending things like plays even more important.  Later in the play she also appears as a wolf and as a village girl.

I would have to say that the children in this production (who range in age from 8 to high school seniors) did very well with the iconic material given them.  Though I might suggest that any alumni of the Spanish Fork High school who want to make a charitable contribution to the school earmark it for new radio microphones and an update of the Auditorium sound system.  At various points during the play each character would suddenly not be audible and then would be heard for a few seconds then gone again.  This was of course a little frustrating.

The dancing and the costumes were spot on with the movie which captured my heart as a child. The story though, perhaps gains a bit more depth as certain songs that were never added to the movie become part of it.  The charm of children dressed as the dog/footstool and the cat/pillow make you laugh and two young sisters with gymnastic inclinations who take on the role of floor rugs will make you smile.

Tani Lee who plays the part of Belle is a delight and able to improvise when there is a problem on stage.  She has a voice that I’m certain has been trained to project, which made it easier when her microphone failed.  Taylor McEntire’s Beast was very believable when it came to emotion and his transformation scenes are wonderful unless  you have a problem with strobe lights.  So be warned that if you are an epileptic and chose to go to the play close your eyes when those two scenes happen.  The flirtation between Brandon Bundy as Lumiere and Danielle Gardner as Babette the feather duster is every bit as funny as it was in the movie.  Jayce Komiya’s Cogsworth is worthy of David Ogden Stiers who originally voiced the roll for the movie.  Marshayla Nielson’s Mrs. Potts is believable and her rendition of the title song is a treat.  Talon Tippets makes a very enthusiastic Lefou but Nate Taylor needs to get past his timidity and be a bit more nasty as well as project from the diaphragm to be a more believable Gaston.

All this said I look forward to Saturday when I will go to see the play a second time with family that had to work on Wednesday.

From the Poet’s Mouth,

Lyda Mae Dameron

You can reach The Poet and her friends by e-mailing (


Poet at Large Reviews, Live Theatre, Tooele High School Presents, High School Musical   Leave a comment

I have always believed that people should support the efforts of our children in the local community.  This means going to Little League games and to High School Theatre Productions and anything else that they can attend that will encourage our children.  Last night I found myself in my home town of Tooele, Utah.  The local High school was putting on a production of “Disney’s High School Musical’.  My motivation for coming to see that specific production was a young woman in a pink hat who was part of the chorus.  She bares a striking resemblance to me because I am her Aunt.  Like me she is an artist, a poet and an actor.

Despite the many times that the movie ‘High School Musical’ aired on The Disney Channel, I had never seen it.  This means that this was my first time to see the story as well as to view the students who preformed it.  It was truly an old home week experience for me as I have preformed on the stage they used many times as a child and half the names in the program are likely related to people I grew up with.

The singing was quite good, the choreography quite dazzling.  The acting was believable, These students truly understand the waking dream that is the theatre.  They reminded me so much of my own High School experiences.  Their teacher and director Mr. J. Scott Henrie is no doubt an inspiration to them.

The story’s message of nonconformity and abundance of pratfalls and penny stinker jokes was worth the time it took to sit through it.  I was also delighted by the costumes that the characters wore.  From the colorful dresses of the drama teacher to the Star Wars tie I saw on one of the nerdy students and the lovely dresses worn by Shapay, Gabriella, and Taylor.

This show was double cast so I only saw the cast which preformed on Saturday Night March 1st.  Young Emily rice who played Gabriella was very sweet and sang with true emotion.  Colton Fowler who played Troy’s only problem was that his voice cracked a little when he was showing deep emotion, which works for the character.  Breanna Lyman who played Sharpay managed to pull of that word the rhymes with Witch very well at the same time portraying the true insecurities of a girl named after an ugly bread of dog.  She was also very graceful when it came time to take a pie in the face.  An actor that can do all that may have a future in entertainment.  Issac Seal who played Shapay’s henpecked younger twin brother Ryan was delightful in his constant fight to be himself instead of his sister’s stooge and when he finally shows his true colors at the end you just want to at least pat him on the back.  His portrayal of the character was just so good.  I would also like to point out Sydney Knight who played Kelsie (The composer of ‘Juliet and Romeo in Tinsel Town’). Sydney’s enthusiasm was a delight.  If I were to go on and praise each student that I liked in this cast I would end up with a review far to long to read.

The adult members of the play cast were drawn from THS’s faculty.  These teachers did very well in helping their students to create the illusion of ‘Albuquerque, New Mexico’s East High’  I commend them for their humor, their grace and their own talents.

From The Poet’s Mouth

Lyda Mae Dameron

You can reach The Poet and her friends by e-mailing (