Pros:Good adaptation, good performances, great family fun
Cons:Sets could have been more impressive, lots of noise in the audience
Apparently, I was a little late in arriving at this conclusion, as the theatre was half-filled with children when I went to watch this show. Not that I mind kids, but I attend Broadway shows with the intention of listening to powerful, melodic voices, not the sounds of children crying and jumping about. In reality, you could see and hear the performance well, though do expect the occasional minor distraction from the kid sitting next to you.
The Broadway production is based almost entirely on the Disney cartoon movie, so if you enjoyed the the movie, you will certainly enjoy the Broadway show. There are a few extra songs in the Broadway show, but none that are very memorable or noteworthy. More than likely, you will be comparing the play with the movie as you watch it. I wish I did not do this, as it is somewhat distracting, but it happened.
What I really enjoyed about the Broadway show were the sets. They were so indicative of the Disney style. The town and house in which the heroine, Belle, resides is a classic cottage, but drawn with crooked dimensions (if you've been to any Disney park, you should know this style well). This not only adds a rustic feel to her dwellings, but lets you know that this is Disney.
Perhaps the biggest challenge for the producers is recreating the Beasts's castle. Not only does this mean creating the edifice, but also the characters in it, including Cogsworth, Lumiere, Mrs. Potts et al. This is accomplished by outfitting the actors in life-sized costumes to imitate the inanimate objects they represent. A rather rudimentary way of getting around it, but if you wish to use human characters, there is no way around. But to Disney's credit, they did a great job with the costumes for these characters. The costume for the beast is much the same way. It is difficult to create an intimidating looking furry creature without looking silly, however with good lighting sequences, Disney presents both sides of the Beast rather effectively.
The set of the castle is extremely impressive. Despite being on a small stage, Disney manages to portray important areas of the castle such as the main hall, the East wing, Belle's bedroom, and the library without all of it seeming too cramped. However, the sheer enormity of the castle is still not accurately portrayed, but that would have been a limitation given any size stage on Broadway. Disney could have made the castle look more lavish, so at the end, when the castle is well lit due to the festivities, it would look more grand and exquisite.
Overall, the show was very entertaining. I was extremely impressed with how well the movie was adapted to the stage, given the amount of fantasy involved with the story. All of the voices were quite good, though none gave a truly memorable performance. Disney fans will certainly recognize and look forward to the classic tunes from the movie, including, "Gaston" and "Beauty and the Beast." This is a show that is heavily targeted for family audiences, and the story will not be lost on children. Bring them, but please keep them somewhat quiet for us members of the older audience.
Read all 53 Reviews
Write a Review