Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon are magicians, engineering technicians and mutants who live in a future where today's dreams have become feasible.
Occasionally, they return to our ancient times to give us a preview of what will be found in the future.
With Beauty and the Beast, they really put us in full view. A white horse, life size, which swirls and gallops in the middle of the stage. Actors who interact or fight with themselves, emerging from a table or through a mirror.
Phantoms of various sizes that move, interact with a character, then vanish.
A thunderstorm, rain falling heavily virtual and bounces on the ground. Stunning scenery, constantly moving, castle, alcove studio, garden, sometimes beyond the scope of the scene and invades the walls and ceiling of the room. Sound effects properly staggering.
The effect is startling 3-D The effect is dramatic, exciting, compelling. The technique Lemieux and Pilon - and the small army of specialists who worked on this massive project - is so advanced that we forget very quickly that is not the movies or at a computer, but the theater ...
Clearly, some thought has preceded the writing of the text by Pierre-Yves Lemieux. And the actors - Andrée Lachapelle, Benedicte Decary and Francois Papineau - have faced significant challenges in this setting to play abstract, with virtual characters they can not even see.
But it is also clear in this case, the text and the performance of the actors are secondary values altogether - a pretext for supporting the demonstration of expertise Lemieux and Pilon.
Old as the hills Beauty and the Beast does not date from Walt Disney. The story of a beautiful young woman who loves an older man, scarred and bitter as old as the world.
Pierre-Yves Lemieux tells the timeless. He writes in a language that seeks universal, but sometimes seems sententious: "The past is a waste of time" or "die at any moment is a great way to live ..."
(And when a character speaks of "father" instead of "daddy", it really sounds like the French translation of an American text).
Here is a beautiful painter angry and rebellious, the beast is a rich lord and reclusive.
In this tale, there is a nasty fairy: Andrée Lachapelle, perfidious and elegant, which is nice as well as the beast. Ms. Lachapelle, François Papineau Benedicte Decary and play with heart and aplomb of demanding roles.
But if there were no such special effects that dazzle the mind and occupy it, it would likely view as Beauty and the Beast is a decent play, nothing more.
Without special effects, we expect more of the text, actors, staging before swoon ...
But there are special effects that make Beauty and the Beast an extraordinary spectacle. Already, we announced additional TNM and a tour of Quebec. Go Now!
Beauty and the Beast: Creating and directed by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. Text by Pierre Yves Lemieux. With Andree Lachapelle, Benedicte Decary, François Papineau (on stage), and Violette Chauveau and Peter James (virtual characters).