In Brief: Lemieux Pilon 4D Art use high tech projections combined with live actors to create dreamscapes that thrill and amaze. Don’t miss a chance to see this breathtaking, breakthrough production. A truly unique theatrical experience.
There’s a moment as the lights go out in a theater that’s pure excitement. We sit in the pitch black experience a sense that ANYTHING could happen. Finally, EmersonArts brings a show that delivers on that promise. “La Belle et la Bete” by tech wizards Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon, is a production that seamlessly combines lifelike projections with live actors to create the kind of special effects you probably think are possible in the movies. The images created are fantastic and arresting and linger long after the show is over
The story is Beauty and the Beast, but forget everything you might remember from the Disney movie, this production shares more with the classic surreal film by Cocteau. It features a Beauty who is tortured artist and a Beast who although isolated from the world, seems to have coupling on his mind as much as true love. There’s also talk of an hourglass at the bottom of a pond and a rose medallion, and a fairy who’s actually a witch, but all of that is just an excuse for Lemieux and Pilon’s amazing surreal creations: A full size while horse that runs slow motion across the stage, the beast literally fighting with his alter ego, the Beauty’s older sister, who appears first at 9 feet tall and then 3 feet tall all within one conversation. All the time the on-stage cast interacts with these phantasms as if they were real, which shows the amazing timing and precision of the cast: Benedicte Decary as Belle, Vincent Leclerc as the Beast and Diane D’Aquila as the Narrator. All three do what they can with a script that features portentous statements rather then realistic dialog. But Lemieux and Pilon keep the visual fireworks going so that you never have to wait long for another sumptuous visual treat.
This show is a model of how technology can be incorporated into the theatrical environment. Early on I realized it would be impossible for me to judge the ‘sets’ for this show. Clearly all there is on stage is a set of semi-translucent scrims, although these scrims become a castle, a art studio, a garden and most memorably a field in the middle of a rain storm.
Don’t miss this lush and surreal tour de force of technical virtuosity.
“La Belle et la Bete” Created by Lemieux Pilon 4D Art, Presented by Arts Emerson at the Culter Majestic Theater
Now through December 9, 2012.
Tickets information available at www.artsemerson.org or by phone (617) 824-8400.