The musical first premiered on Broadway in 1994 and ran till 2007. It played for 5461 performances, making it the eighth longest running production in Broadway history. There have been numerous adaptations of the musical worldwide, and almost thirty five million have seen it in thirteen countries. This beautiful love story has entertained audiences all over, resulting in the musical grossing almost 1.4 billion dollars worldwide.
The story of the musical is almost the same as the film version. It revolves around a Beast, a former prince, put under a spell by an enchantress. He can only break the spell, if he gets someone to genuinely fall in love with him before a certain time period. Enter Belle, a smart, adventurous, beautiful young girl who is imprisoned by the Beast as she goes to his castle to save her father. The Beast however finally has to chance to win someone’s love so that he can become human again.
The basic theme of the musical revolves around how it is much more important to see past the exterior of a person and into their heart. This is echoed in the design of the show, which according to the director Rob Roth, “is about transparency and layers, seeing past one thing and into another.”
One of the best things about the national tour is that it brings almost the entire creative team of the original Broadway production back together. Almost fifteen years after they first staged it, the creative team has reunited to produce this wonderful musical.
The musical features the Academy Award winning score of the original film. Composed masterfully by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, the original score of the film garnered worldwide critical acclaim. For the musical, additional songs have been written, once again with music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Time Rice respectively.
The book of the musical has been written by Linda Woolverton. She also wrote the screenplay for the film version of Beauty and the Beast. Her writing credits include other Disney classics like Aladdin, Mulan and The Lion King.
Rob Roth has returned once again as the director of the musical. According to him as a director, it is very rare to once again have the opportunity to work on a project you did fifteen years earlier. He says, “Hopefully I’ve grown and developed as an artist, along with my collaborators, and we can bring fifteen years of experience to this new production.”
The other core team remains the same too. With Matt West on choreography and Tony Award winner Ann Hould-Ward on costume designing, this production looks to be one of the best.
A show for the whole family, this Broadway hit is a wonderful concoction of a captivating storyline featuring loveable characters and simply wonderful music. So do not miss a chance to watch this production live.