‘Beauty and the Beast’ a top rate performance

To the editor:

As New Ulm’s representative on the Board of the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council I attended last Sunday’s performance of “Beauty and the Beast” mounted by the State Street Theater, and I came away over-awed by a thoroughly enjoyable show.

I have been a season subscriber to productions at the Tyrone Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis since its very first production of Shakespeare’s Hamlet in modern dress, so I’ve had a lot of exposure to highly professional acting for well over 50 years and believe that, as a result, I’m a pretty good judge of a theatrical performance. I’ve also seen a fair amount of amateur/community theater that was somewhat lackluster despite the good intentions and honest efforts of those involved.

Know this: There was nothing “amateur” about Sunday’s performance! The array of costumes was dazzling; the singing was well on pitch and beautiful; the orchestra, with thanks to its conductor, was well disciplined, in tune, and well-modulated to accompany the voices on stage; the acting was sincere and as natural as real life; the choreography was wonderful – I especially enjoyed the intricacy of the “drinking scene” – well worthy of any Guthrie production! The stage movement was purposeful and well timed, including the “choreography” of scene changes; and much, much more, all thanks to the administration and directors that made it happen. My dream would be that the ensemble of actors that played their roles on Sunday will band together as “The State Street Theater Company” for many more dramatic and musical shows to come.

Without a doubt Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a supreme challenge requiring the utmost dedication and indefatigable effort of all participants, whether long before or during the performance, whether on stage or behind the scenes, and the State Street Theater rose that challenge with a landmark production that stands not only as a credit to the Theater itself, but to the entire City of New Ulm. Kudos!

Dr. Charles H. Luedtke

New Ulm