From dancing teacups to belting candelabras, Belmont Musical Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast” takes the Fisher Center stage, bringing with it tons of Disney magic. Being the first Disney venture into the world of Broadway, “Beauty and the Beast” quickly became a hit in the summer of 1994.
Almost 30 years later, the musical, with its book by Linda Wolverton and music by Alen Menken, has carved itself a spot in pop culture for decades to come. With most audience members familiar with the source material, "so many people will come in with an expectation of what it is supposed to look like when theatre itself is about adaptation and how it affects the message, so I hope they have an open heart," said sophomore musical theatre major Maya Kempf, who plays the role of Belle in one of the casts.
"Le Fou and Gaston have a different dynamic in this than they do in, say, the movie, and I'm excited for audiences to see that," said senior Patrick Dunbar, who plays Gaston in one of the casts. Known as a classic children's tale, "It explores more than just a moment but rather the whole human experience of dealing with loneliness," said Kempf in opposition to those who pass off Disney as just for kids.
"Even though it is a childish show, we try to embrace the dark and not be afraid to make the themes applicable to adults," said Dunbar With their larger-than-life characters, Disney musicals are tasked with the challenge of bringing that same level of spectacle to a live audience.
"To me, the most fun part about this show is the ‘mug-o-graphy' it took me a long time to understand, but now it is just fun," said Dunbar, who, as Gaston, has spent plenty of time with a tankard clenched beneath his fist.
"To me, the most fun part is, since we're double cast, I actually get to watch the show, which isn't something that normally gets to happen," said Kempf. From Friday through Sunday in the magnificent Fisher center, Beauty and the Beast looks to blow audiences away with its musical and technical talent, a direct result of the tireless hours and dedication of the Musical Theatre Department. —
This article was written by Zach Watkins