The Center Stage Youth Performers are putting on Beauty and the Beast Jr. at the Covey Center for the Arts until April 30. Remaining performances are on April 27 to 30 at 7 p.m. I went to check out the show opening night.

I left my apartment an hour and a half before the show (I live in Ogden). Thanks to the horrendously awful construction on the road down, I was 30 minutes late. Missing my chance to see if the condensed version of the Broadway musical included my favorite song, Me, some nice ushers let me and my friend in anyway. We were just in time for "Be Our Guest," and I've got to say that Justin Hendricks, playing Lumiere, outshined the rest of the cast throughout the play. For a kid (the entire cast is between the ages of 7 and 18), he has a great voice and amazing stage presence!

Speaking of stage presence, the Prince (Facundo Regazzoni) had some commanding presence as well. The Beast (Dallin Cloward) and Belle (Addison McArthur) left a bit to be desired, to be honest (they wouldn't play up the drama in moments that totally called for it, and occasionally Belle said some things in a cheery tone that really should not have been happy thoughts...), but they pulled off their parts fairly well and made it a fun night.

And my one expectation was totally right—the cuteness level was almost overwhelming. The battle scene when the villagers stormed the castle was amazingly choreographed, funny as anything I've seen and chock full of adorableness. Seven year olds dancing around as napkins and wolves couldn't be cuter!

There were some goofs that are to be expected on opening night and with such young performers. The audience couldn't suppress their chuckles during the dramatic final transformation sequence of the Beast turning into the Prince thanks to the Beast's shaggy head being very visible above the set as he tried to sneak away and let the other actor take his place. Fog is, after all, see-through and not good at hiding everything.

All in all, it was a great way to spend a Friday night. I highly recommend it for good wholesome fun—as long as you live in the area or leave early enough to beat the blasted traffic caused by all the construction.