Over the years, many classic Disney tales have come to life on Broadway, including Beauty and the Beast, a tale truly as old as time. The message of Beauty is simple: love. The love Belle has for father, the Beast, and her own freedom. Currently, Beauty is on tour and is making a stop at the Orpheum theater in Minneapolis until March 15th. The performance is exciting not only for the common theater goer, but for little girls and boys wishing to see their favorite Disney stars on stage. March 10th’s performance was exquisite. The characterization that each of the actors had, including their graceful dancing, as well as an outstanding orchestra made it a major success.
As soon as the lights went down, the orchestra came to life with the overture. This liveliness continued through the entirety of the show and was contagious in transferring to the chorus and main roles. The first song, “Belle” is hard to pull off with many frequent entrances and exits of singers, individual lines of song, and many set changes. It went off without a hitch, and Belle’s (Jillian Butterfield) singing voice was sweet and lovely to listen to. Other singing voices worth mentioning included Gaston (Cameron Bond) whose voice was low without being scratchy. Where would Gaston be without his trusty sidekick, Lefou (Tony D’Alelio)? Gaston would’ve been pretty lost. D’Alelio was animated and into his character. The Beast (Ryan Everett Wood) was still understandable when he was singing as the Beast, and had a great voice. “The Mob Song” had passion from the angry townspeople as they danced to the Beast’s castle. As the characters danced in most every song, it looked natural. Gaston’s swift movements to win over Belle, Belle’s innocent footing, and the Beast’s heavy steps were remarkable. The three of them had wonderful stage chemistry. Lumiere (Patrick Pevehouse) carried himself confidently, which was great characterization. It was probably hard to do with him being 7 feet and 4 inches tall in costume. His puns provided humor in the performance as well. Mrs.Potts(Emily Jewell) had a melodic tone as she sang the title song. With so many strong points with the actors, the show stood out in a positive light.
Lighting added to the show, specifically in the transformation scene. Lights from the sides of the stage shined on the transforming beast from all directions in many different colors. In addition, the beast floated in the air, leaving the audience in awe. During lightning scenes bright lights would flash that were facing the audience which made the storm seem more realistic.
Beauty was an enjoyable show overall. Another thing that stood out was the placement of the musical numbers. Big numbers were strategically placed for younger viewers so they wouldn’t get antsy. The strongest elements are the dancing, characterization, and the orchestra. It’s a treat to see a classic movie come to life that’s certain to be good.