Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Disney's Beauty & The Beast Brings Pure Enchantment to Atlanta

"...tale as old as time..." 

You know the rest...if not, click below to see one of Disney's most classic and epic scenes from their hit movie, "Beauty and the Beast."

It is a love story as old as time...

...and Broadway Atlanta (@broadwayatlanta), along with Disney, brings this epic story to the stage just as flawlessly as Disney brought it to the big screen back in 1991.

If you've seen the movie, you know the story well and won't need me to explain it to you.  However, if you're not familiar with the animated feature, here is a brief rundown of our story:
"Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress.  If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self.  But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity."
NETworks' play follows the movie almost verbatim, except for a few scenes where three new songs have been introduced.  (Side Note:  This play is almost three hours long, with one intermission.  Make sure you little ones can sit that long and be entertained by a stage show.)

Hillary Maiberger plays Belle, and in my opinion, Disney has once again scored by picking an actress that truly reflects their Princess criteria.  Hillary fits all the requirements for Belle and a real Disney princess.  (By the way, this isn't Hillary's first foray into the world of Disney; she has also played Jasmine and Cinderella in other stage productions.)  Her voice is remarkable and perfectly reflects all the inflections and sweetness of the animated character's.  You will find yourself falling in love with Belle and her desire to find a place outside her small provincial town.

Darick Pead plays the Beast and, again, is cast into a role well suited for him.  (Side Note:  Be prepared if this is your first time seeing the stage show, as the Beast does not look like the costumed character you often see in Disney theme parks.  The stage show Beast is much different looking, transforming Darick from a Prince into a beast via wigs and fangs.  I think he is much less intimating to young children than the gigantic costumed character!)

The great thing about the stage production of Beauty and the Beast is that we actually get to see the Beast sing a song ("If I Can't Love Her") at the end of Act I!  Darick is extremely talented, and this song showcases his wonderful vocal talents.

Hillary and Darick, however, make up only a small fraction of a much larger and talented cast.  Excellent performances are also brought from Gaston (a.k.a. Jeff Brooks), LeFou (a.k.a. Jimmy Larkin), Lumiere (a.k.a. Hassan Nazari-Robati), Cogsworth (a.k.a. James May), and the ever lovable Babette (a.k.a. Jessica Lorion).

The stage show runs almost three hours, starting at 8PM and not ending until about 11PM.  Even with all that Disney Magic swirling around in the air, this may be still too late for younger children.  However, that said, last night's Opening Night performance was one of the most crowded shows I have ever attended.  Not surprisingly, the audience was filled with young children, including many young Disney Princesses walking around in their yellow Belle ballgowns.

The show uses laser lights, strobes, and some Magic (via slight-of-hand and optical illusion tricks) and is dark for most of the play.  However, I did not find the play to be scary even with wolves, a burly Beast, and a creepy Insane Asylum owner milling around.  ...and not once did I ever hear a child cry.  You can feel at ease and comfortable bringing children of all ages to this play.  Remember, it's Disney.

To end things, let me say that, as usual, one of the most entertaining parts of this play, is always the classic, "Be Our Guest" scene.  I am always amazed to see how Disney brings this animated scene to life on a stage.  Be ready to sing along as you watch this short clip:

If you are thinking about attending Disney and BroadwayAtlanta's production of Beauty and the Beast, the play runs through December 2 at Atlanta's famous Fox Theater.

Tickets begin at $33 and are available through authorized ticket sellers at the Fox Theatre Box Office, online at, or by phone at 1-855-ATL-TIXX.  Orders for groups of 10 or more may be placed by calling 404-881-2000. 
The performance schedule is each evening (through Saturday) at 8PM.; Saturday matinee at 2PM, and Sunday at 1PM and 6:30PM.

Go and see it.  It's not very often Disney comes to town.  You won't want to miss this opportunity to see one of their classic story tales brought to life. Ticker

No comments:

Post a Comment