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Beauty and the Beast. Such a classic romantic story that doesn't seem to get quite the recognition it deserves. Sure everyone has HEARD of it , and plenty have probably seen the Disney movie of it (mostly girls....and maybe even scary number of guys). Some might have even read the fairy tale in certain "fairy tale compilations".
But......, have you seen or heard of a live action Beauty and the Beast done on Broadway or in an Opera ? Have you watched a Beauty and the Beast movie re-done in every possible way imaginable? (Like they've done with Cinderella....there are 100's of movies based on Cinderella). The only "redo's" I can think of, is that 1980/90's TV show they did, the 1930's Black and White Movie, and then the Disney Cartoon one in the 1990's.
Sure, there might be some movies, shows, plays, that take on the "premise" of the story and twist it around in odd ways. Yet, it doesn't have the same feel. It seems like people only want to watch a few hours worth of two beautiful people, instead of a few hours with one beautiful person and one not so much =) I guess I can understand that, as a species, we are very visual. Sometimes our vision gets clouded and jaded. It turns into superficiality and vanity.
In a way, the reason i'm so taken by the entire Beauty and the Beast storyline, is because shows what happens when people ARE superficial. I can't count how many times I've been hanging out with my friends, and they see a couple where one is attractive and the other is not, and then feel the need to point out how "weird" that is. Why is that weird? Again, is there some rule in the book of love where only two attractive people or two unattractive people can be together? How many cliches are out there about the subject of surface beauty............ Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Looks fade. Beauty is skin deep........There are loads! Yet this story proves that an outward (and inwardly) beautiful person fell for someone only inwardly beautiful.
I will admit that to take it at face value, it's a fairly odd plot when you think of it literally. A Women, falling in love with an animal? Gross..... Yet, it's symbolic more than literal. It symbolizes how often looks are decieving, that people can change, and that love can be found where you least expect it. That's why it's my favourite fairy tale. To me it's the most romantic one in the book. Even more than Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and all the others.
Since I'm very partial to anything remotely connected to "Beauty and the Beast". Imagine how excited I was to find out they were doing Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Stage. Sure, it's a little childish since it's "disney" related. Sure, it'll probably make my boyfriend cringe to tell anyone he watched it with me. I don't care. I HAD to see it. And I did.......3 times so far....
*****Seeing the Stage Production of Beauty & The Beast Part 1*****
I was 19 and had been living in England at the time for the past year for University. Although I knew I was going back home to the United States soon, I still ended up meeting and falling for someone in England. Intercontenetial romances are NOT easy in the least, but sometimes , if they're really good , you make them work. I had about 6 more months left on my Visa to stay in the UK. That meant 6 more months of us being together and we took advantage of it. About 3 months into that, he found my return ticket back to the states and hid it from me. I thought I had simply misplaced it and was tearing the flat apart trying to find it. I had no idea how sneaky my boyfriend was being at the time, but I found out later that week.
While I was in a crabby mode from my "unfound" ticket back to the states. Tony (my boyfriend), was happily telling me to not make any plans on friday night, that he wanted to take me to a movie and dinner. At the time I was in such state that I did my eye squinting "Who cares" look, and nonchalantly said "Yeah yeah, ok".
Friday comes around, and I had completely forgotten about the "movie and dinner". During the day, I had been with a schoolfriend bicycling around Wiltshire and came home around 5pm , dirty, sweaty, nasty, and exahusted. Tony was at home, dressed up in a nice suit, pacing around the living room. As soon as he saw me and my state, he knew I had forgotten. I had never seen a more dejected look on someones face in my LIFE. I instantly felt horrible and contrite. I promised that if he gave me 30 minutes I could come down and look like a beauty queen. He of course, threw a "are you kidding me? 30 minutes is how long it takes you in the shower alone", stare and simply nodded his head and sat down.
I ran up the stairs and stripped as I was running up the stairs. Jumped into the shower, scrubbed the scum off my skin like it was covered in fire ants. Jumped out of the shower, dried off my skin as if I was the Wicked Witch of the West and would start melting if I didnt....wrapped my head into a towel turban, sprinted to the bedroom and threw on my sexy black satin strapless dress not bothering with tights, panties, or a bra. Flew back into the bathroom, brushed my hair out wet and pulled it back into a french twist. Then dedicated 10 minutes doing the makeup, perfume, picking out shoes thing.......I was downstairs and ready to go in 25 minutes.
To say my boyfriend was shocked....is an understatement. You see, I like to take my time when I get ready. I don't overkill myself with makeup or anything. I usually wear very little makeup, but I just like to dilly dally. Put on lotions, listen to music, drink some wine, try on different outfits....You know.....act like a typical female. Well, when he saw it was around 5:30 and I was ready, he smiled triumphantly, grabbed my hand and yanked me towards the door. He then half carried, half pulled me to the car acting nervous slash giddy slash anxious slash romantic slash....a lot of other slashes.....he was just acting WEIRD.
As we are driving he's dead silent and sweating. I find out we're driving into London, bout a good 45 minute drive. Only, he's driving as if he could get there in under 30 minutes. I had to constantly tell him to "slow the hell down!" When we arrive in London, he pulls up to a parking garage and drops the vehicle off with the valet. I recognize that we are in the Theatre district. Then it dawns on me! He's taking me to a show, that's why he was being so rushy rush and strange.
As we are walking towards the Theatre, I see the bright lights and brillant sign from the distance. It said " Disney's Beauty and the Beast". I stopped in my tracks. My boyfriend did know I loved that story, but he never in a million years would ever go see a show like this with me. It just wasn't his "style". Sweeny Todd? Maybe.....The Producers? Maybe.....but something like this? He'd rather have a root canal done. So, I knew how much this was taking for him to swallow his mmmm....agony.....and see this.....for me.
I think it was the most touching thing anyone has ever done. People who sacrafice things for someone else just because they like them? That's beautiful. I fell for him even harder than I thought was possible. I already knew we loved each other, but him doing this...watching a DISNEY STAGE PRODUCTION, for me? That was the clincher.....the "coup de grace".
We made our way to our seats, my mind in a daze, and Tony grinning wickedly, knowing he had scored big time. Then the show began.
*****Seeing the Stage Production of Beauty and the Beast Part 2*****
As I sat there watching the opening scenes, I was struck that half the audience were children. For about one minute I felt a little silly, but that minute passed quickly and I didn't really care. Tony sat there mostly enjoying the looks on my face ignoring the show....at FIRST.
If your familiar with the Disney movie of Beauty and the Beast at all, you'd know there are a LOT of songs in the movie. They carried all of those songs over to the Theatre version as well. =).......As a rule, most men do NOT like musicals. (Although, I think more men like them than they care to admit). While the songs were going on, Tony did look like he swallowed a piece of bad meat. Again though, that only added some comic relief to the excitement of watching this AMAZING production in live action.
Belle and the Beast were terrific. So were Mrs Potts, and Cogsworth and Lemere, Lafue, and of course the Villian....Gaston! The actors and costumes provided were lively, colorful yet tasteful, and larger than life. It was like I was sitting watching the movie really come to life in front of my eyes. I felt like a 10 yr old again , watching the movie for the first time in awe and wonderment.
When the intermission came, we went to go get some drinks. I went to the bathroom and when I had came back, Tony was sitting at the bar with a Rose and a Programe of the play. How he got those items in less than 3 minutes is beyond me, but he was quickly becoming a god amoung men. I excitedly accepted my gifts , thanked him profusely, and started to gush about the play so far. Amazingly enough, he admitted that he'd actually started to enjoy the parts sans the music.
After intermission , we got back to our seats and finished watching the rest of the musical play. I was on cloud nine from beginning till the end. Would I have enjoyed it if I went by myself? YES.....I still would have, but I think my experience was even more, memorable because of the setting. Believe it or not.....this is really a GREAT "date play". It's lighthearted, fun, nostalgic, innocent, and romantic. Plus it'll make you feel years younger as you watch it.
As I mentioned, all the actors did an aboslutely terrific job, and the layout of how the stage was set up, and how it stuck very close to everything in the movie, and the songs, the dances....just.....everything was so well rehersed and fantastic.
After the play was over, he made me sit with him in the seats while people started to file out of the theatre. He said he had a headache and just needed to sit for a few minutes. When it got to be only about a dozen people remaining, he got up from his seat, kneeled down....and proposed to me. Right there.
I think any girl in this situation would have said yes. =)
Maybe, I haven't spent enough time telling you major details about this play, or every little nuance about it, or how long it is (about 3 hrs with intermission), or how much the tickets are ( I saw this again with my niece in New York, and it was around 65.00 a ticket for some "ok" seats). Maybe I took too long explaining how great this night was and how this musical play, influenced my life so much, but......who cares?! I'm allowed to sit here and talk aimlessly and "review" things that are important, non-important, poignant, or not poignant. This one happens to be very "poignant" to me because it was one of the happiest days in my life, and I was glad that "Beauty and the Beast" was part of that "day".
If you are a man or a woman, I would recommend to surprize your child or your wife with this show. It's impossible to not enjoy and it's worth every penny!
So the Russians are moving around the country with there magnificent spectacular ice shw, and can perform on ever changing sizes of ice rinks, whether you prefer sitting on the front row and getting wet or prefer seeing the full beauty of the magic by halfway up the auditorium its not a show to miss. With its amazing array of MAC700s 24 in total and te amazing light effects made by th generic inhouse rigs this is not a show to be messed with. The beast is extemely tall compared to therest of the cast and the scenery all beautifully painted and loked afte. The rink is now a new ice system which uses under ice freezing via small tubes and not using the old steel sheeting packs, overall if you can get to see tis amazing show itsnot only amazing in the show but on the technical sides of piecing the show togethr to go ahead
I went to see this production of Beauty and the Best last weekend and I was amazed by the quality of the performance. I had seen the show in London a couple of years ago and was stunned by the special effects and costumes. I had expected this performance to be inferior because of the smaller stage but I was pleasantly surprised. We sat in the Upper circle so unfortunately our view wasn't great, but they were the only tickets left a couple of weeks before the performance (it was sold out on the night). Tickets range in price from £30 to £5, with slight variations for matinees. The show is only on in Bristol for about a week longer before it moves off around the country. If you can get tickets, it is well worth seeing here in Bristol. If you don't make it keep and eye out for it in the future, it is a must see (especially if you have got children!). Be warned though you will be humming the songs for days afterwards!