Theater: Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Role: Belle (and vocal ensemble)
Synopsis: The Rep’s hit new adaptation, which broke box office records last December, is a tale of love, hope and redemption with just the right blend of beautiful music, lively dancing, stunning sets and eye-popping special effects. A dazzling Christmas feast with enough theatrical goodies to fill any sized stocking hung by the chimney with care.
“Young Scrooge and Belle: One of this version’s best features is the attention Clements pays to the relationship between Young Scrooge and Belle; he’s given this relationship much more of a back story than the prior version had and added one of the most devastating scenes in Dickens’ novella: Scrooge’s visit to the home of a happily married Belle, surrounded by children that could have been his. As young Scrooge, Christopher Peltier conveys a sensitive and impressionable but also scared and shy boy who curdles as he becomes a man; he lives the truth that Belle speaks when she sorrowfully tells him that “you fear the world too much.” A lovely Arya Daire delivers a Belle grieving the man she’s lost and yet wise enough to know she can’t bring him back.”
-Mike Fisher, MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL
“In the 42nd annual Rep production of this Charles Dickens story, Clements has transformed a classic into a spectacular story, full of horrors and suspense, a penetrating look into what a play needs to carry and deliver all the power it can… Deborah Staples [Ghost of Christmas Past] is up first as she takes control and freezes Scrooge in her embrace to visit the things that turned him into the monster he now is: from a young boy to a young man (Christopher Peltier) in love with the ravishing Belle (Arya Daire) but unable to overcome his social awkwardness to pursue her. This adaptation by Mr. Clements has become a fascinatingly layered mounting of this classic, with added details and depth and backstory of nephews, friends, employees and others who have dipped into Scrooge’s life.”
-Dave Begel, On Milwaukee