Musical Review: Beauty and the Beast

1 Dec 2014 by Lauren Kisicki, No Comments »

The Beauty and the Beast on Broadway poster. Credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beauty_and_the_Beast_(musical)

Recently, I went to see Beauty and the Beast at the Orpheum, a beautiful theatre in downtown Phoenix. The show was directed by Tony nominee Rob Roth, a New York local who has directed Beauty and the Beast all around the world. In my opinion, it was an excellent production worth a view.

The show followed the story of the Oscar-winning Disney movie of the same name and included all of the original songs. However, there were also many great songs added to expand on character development such as Me, Home, and If I Can’t Love Her (sung by Gaston, Belle, and the Beast, respectively).

All of the actors and actresses onstage had amazing talent in singing, dancing, and acting. The cast is part of NETworks’ national touring group and featured many performers in their national tour debut. Jillian Butterfield, who played Belle, had a beautiful, clear, vibrato voice and sounded remarkably like Paige O’Hara (the original voice of Belle) while still bringing something of her own. Ryan Everett Wood, who played the Beast, brought forth more sides and dimensions to his character, which added to the story. Cameron Bond, who played Gaston, was just as pompous, boisterous, and narcissistic as Gaston should be. Patrick Pevehouse, Samuel Shurtleff, and Jake Bridges (Lumiere, Cogsworth, and Lefou) provided hilarious comic relief, even in the most intense of times.

The set was beautiful, with a vine-inspired theme for the Beast’s castle. The contrasts of color based on the mood of the scene were well shown by the lighting department. Intricate costumes worn by the enchanted objects helped to personify the items and give them more human traits than in the film. However, I wasn’t a huge fan of Belle’s dress in the finale and curtain call. The orchestra was also great. The music played by them moved the story forwards and gave scenes more depth. And, of course, the choreography was lovely. The songs Gaston and Be Our Guest had interesting and eventful dances, and the stage combat was excellent.

Though there were a few things I didn’t like, the Phoenix Orpheum’s production of Beauty and the Beast was an overall good show that I would recommend seeing before it leaves the Orpheum.

The Orpheum Theatre. Credit: http://coolthingsaz.com/orpheum.php

For more information about the show and tickets, go to http://theaterleague.com/phoenix/beauty-and-the-beast/.

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