D E B O R A H    G I B S O N       C H U C K   W A G N E R

 

 

CHRISTOPHER MONTELEONE    GARY BEACH   GIBBY BRAND

HARRISON BEAL   BETH FOWLER

 

With this stage adaptation of their movie hit, Disney invaded Broadway. The theatre community and the critics didn't like this intrusion, but the public liked what they saw and this show became a big hit. The creators knew that comparisons with the movie were inevitable so they decided to it with a more comic and action approach. The result is a high quality production that puts a smile on everyone's lips.

 

. . . puts a smile on everyone's lips

 

Fabulous sets, imaginative costumes and excellent lightning make this musical visually astonishing. The highlights are the same ones of the movie, with two exceptions. The BEAUTY AND THE BEAST number looses in comparison with the one in the film; on the other hand GASTON works much better on stage, being the best choreographic moment of the show, Matt West really used his imagination in this funny number. Another great moment is HUMAN AGAIN, it's the best song of the score and it wasn't in the movie. The famous BE OUR GUEST looses in spectacularly, but wins in choreography.

 

... make this musical visually astonishing

 

Deborah Gibson and Chuck Wagner are convincing as the title characters, but the supporting characters easily steal the scenes from them. Gary Beach as Lumiere and Harrison Beal as Lefou are both fabulous. But it's Leslie Castay as Babette and Eleanor Glockner as Madame de la Grande Bouche who stole every scene they appeared. I couldn't take my eyes out of them.

This isn't a masterpiece, but it's a musical in the pure Broadway tradition and so Disney began their stage career with a golden key.

 

 

Music by Alan Menken    Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice     Book by Linda Woolverton

Choreographed by Matt West     Directed by Robert Jesse Roth

Rated by Jorge: ++++