Disney's Beauty and the Beast is on Tour!

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast I remember watching Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Broadway over a decade ago, and even as an adult I found my eyes, ears and heart couldn't get enough of it. I loved the costumes, scenery, music, special effects, all of it. It was amazing to think that a children's fairytale could be so touching and appealing to an audience of all ages! When the show closed, I felt sad because I had kids by then, and there go my chances of taking my kids to see Beauty and the Beast.

Not anymore.

I'm so happy (for my sake and for all the other families out there) to find out that Beauty and the Beast is back on stage, and this time it's going on tour -- which means that it might be showing in a city near you!! The show is going on a yearlong journey across the US, starting with San Francisco on August 17-29; it then moves on to San Antonio, TX, San Diego, CA, and more (49 in total!) before ending in June 2011. You can find the full tour schedule on the Beauty and The Beast On Tour website.

Here's some information about the show:
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the animated film’s Academy Award®-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

The original creators of the Broadway production are together again for this new touring production! The play is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, with Costume Design by Ann Hould-Ward (Tony Award® winner for her work on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Lighting Design by Natasha Katz, Scenic Design by Stanley A. Meyer, Sound Design by John Petrafesa Jr. and Music Supervision by Michael Kosarin.

Last night I was invited to the opening show of Beauty and the Beast at the Golden Gate Theater, and I took The Pea, who was extremely excited at the thought of being in the very first audience for the new touring show. She was worried that the show would be too babyish (it's been ages since she saw the Disney movie, and to her Belle is just another Disney Princess), but she ended up laughing, gasping and crying harder than anyone else in the audience. And even though I've seen the Broadway show (as well as a million and a half showings of the Disney movie), I thought this production was wonderful. The stage seemed smaller, and the cast fewer, than the original show -- but I suppose that's because it's a touring show and they needed to simplify it a bit. Not that there's any shortage of special effects -- I thought their giant wolf puppets were quite ingenious, and their "Be Our Guest" number was glitzy as a Paris revue, with sequins and sparklers and trumpets that shoot out streamers (The Pea and all the little girls in the audience went scrambling for them!). They did a great job of recreating Belle's cartoon world, and I'm sure many children and their parents will be able to mouth the dialogue word for word.

That's not to say that the show is a carbon copy of the movie. There are added scenes and songs, and in fact, the producers have revamped every aspect of the original stage show, from sets to costumes to dialogue to musical numbers (I love, love, love the new mug-clinking dance sequence in "Gaston"!) , so that even after all these years, the show is as fresh as, well, a rose petal. But it's still the story that little princesses everywhere will be spellbound by (including my own 9-year old princess), and the story tugs at my heartstrings just the way it always does. It is, after all, a Tale as Old as Time.

Disclosure: I received complimentary tickets to the show, but was not paid to review the show or give my opinions. Product information is provided by the featured company/product and is clearly indicated as such. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.

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