REVIEW: Tale as old as time still enchants at the NorShor

This review originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on 11/30/2018 and was written by Sheryl Jensen.

Dancing forks, showgirls as plates, a feather duster cavorting with a candlestick, a talking teacup, the obligatory plucky heroine, and a brooding hero. The Duluth Playhouse’s enchanting Beauty and the Beast had all the bells and whistles to win the hearts of the opening night audience Thursday (11/29).

Ann Gumpper’s elegant set, with tricks up its sleeve, embraced the Norshor’s color schemes and style, providing a lovely fairy tale playground for the classic Disney story.

Costumes (many from the Chanhassen Dinner Theater) were eye-popping and fittingly over-the-top. A fashion parade of living furniture and household bric-a-brac, a kaleidoscope of brightly dressed ensemble players — and the iconic golden ball gown — added to the evening’s magic.

Emily Ahrens, as Belle, hit all the right Disney heroine chords, with her standout vocal moment “A Change in Me” showing her vocal power. Locked into prosthetics, hair and dark makeup, Shad Olsen still brought out the Beast’s humanity and looked every inch the fairytale prince after the transformation.

Though the show is called Beauty and the Beast, it is written to give the supporting players the chance to steal the show, and “grand larceny” was committed by many in this talented cast.





Those silly girls fawn over Gaston


Chip and Mrs. Potts


Belle and the Prince



  • What: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
  • When: December 6-9 & December 13-16
  • Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday @ 7:30pm // Saturday & Sunday @ 2:00pm
  • Where: The NorShor Theatre (211 E. Superior St.)
  • Tickets:  Standard – $35-$50 // Youth – $10 off the Standard ticket // Student Rush – $25 (at the door the night of the performance with a valid ID only)
  • Purchase:  //  //  218.733.7555  //  In-person at the NorShor Box Office