But the standout is Jacob Thompson’s written-to-be-a-scene-stealer performance as Gaston. While Thompson has played the Beast before, he seems born to play the delightfully vain self-centered boorish buffoon worthy of another six adjectives. Thompson has a muscular voice that effortlessly reaches notes in the basement, a rubbery face with eyebrows that knit in clueless concentration, and strangely handsome face with a cleft chin and self-satisfied grin. It’s no surprise that he has played the title character in Bye Bye Birdie. He is especially effective in his acrobatic byplay with Courter Simmons as Lefou who, appropriately, plays the sidekick like an over-the-top vaudeville clown.
Jacob Thompson is perfection as Gaston. His handsome looks, conceited swagger, and gorgeously rich singing voice, are matched with spot-on comic timing. He nails every one of his acting bits, and works like a well-oiled machine with his scene partner ... Thompsons facial reactions were so entertaining, I had a hard time watching other people when he was on stage.
An all-around captivating cast. ...A highly quotable show whose dialogue you might find yourself incorporating into conversation for days, perhaps weeks, to come.
There were a few standout performances, most notably from Jacob Thompson (Ajax) and Scott Raymond Johnson (Philoctetes). Thompson as Ajax provides raspy, rugged vocals that are perfectly in tune with the spirit of 90s grunge rock and roll, causing some fists in the audience to raise in the air as they felt the grit of his songs. His bulging muscles and black eyeliner add to his believable bad boy mystique while complementing his deliberately egotistic persona.
Jacob Thompson plays Ajax as a heavy metal rock demi-god, and I found him more plausible than some musicians who make a living being guitar heroes. Metal’s loss is the theatre’s gain.