‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ breathes life into a tale as old as time
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at the Fox Theatre was a magical, whimsical evening filled with laughter. The show, which ran from February 2-7 and featured all of the beloved songs from the Academy Award-winning movie “Beauty and the Beast,” plus some extras that are part of the stage production, brought the story to life onstage and really kept the audience engaged and involved — I felt like I was part of the hijinks that were happening onstage.
The singing was absolutely beautiful. The songs were filled with emotion, from Belle’s (Brooke Quintana) desperation to escape that gosh darned provincial town to the Beast’s (Sam Hartley) agonized lamentation of his belief that no one will ever love him. The company and dancing furniture were splendid, too, and the costuming was amazing. There was lots of gold and lots of glitter.
While the depth and power of the story was definitely present, the cast didn’t hold back on the slapstick comedic elements. The way that the cast delivered their lines — with just the right pacing and inflection — was enough to keep the audience fully focused and doubled over laughing. There are a lot of jokes in the script for the show, but the way that the actors created the personalities for their characters made them even funnier. Of course, LeFou (Matt DaSilva) got tossed around by his idol Gaston (Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek). The Beast acted every part the spoiled child, even throwing a full-on temper tantrum at one point, and Lumière (Ryan M. Phillips) and Cogsworth (Samuel Shurtleff) were always trading insults.
The enchanted objects in particular had a kind of chemistry with one another that was wonderful. Lumière and Cogsworth had the bickering-best-friends routine down pat, and Babette (Melissa Jones) and Lumiere were adorably lovable with their flirting and jealous tantrums. The furniture were all definitely comfortable with each other and confident, and they truly seemed to become their characters.
Not only the singing and comedy were incredible. The acrobatics in “Be Our Guest” were wonderful, and the tumbling around the stage was in-sync and impressive. I can’t imagine that dancing in a giant fork costume would be easy, but the company made the routine look simply effortless. The choreography wasn’t simple, either. Belle even got in on the dancing, which I loved.
The show definitely delivered. Even though you know how the story’s going to end, you still ended up sitting on the edge of your seat willing the Beast to wake up after Gaston wounds him. The fact that they were able to bring so much life into this tale that’s — okay, maybe not quite as old as time, but close — was impressive.
The comedy and emotion were great throughout the show. The costuming was amazing, and the singing really pulled the audience into the story.
Not really many negatives to report, except that the song “No Matter What” was cut out of the show for some inexplicable reason.