Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" which was at the Orpheum last weekend was a completely enchanting musical. Normally. a musical has a high standard of musicians, actors, and dancers. However, this Disney musical excelled in all aspects. This well-known tale set to song literally had the audience bewitched.
What was truly amazing was to listen to the audience response of awe to the musical performances, the phenomenal dances, the exotic and lavish sets, all perfectly timed even with some simple magic acts. The elaborately detailed sets were perfect for the storybook to come to life effect. The special effects of the witch cursing the prince as well as the wolves in the woods combined the sets, music, and actors with the mastery of puppetry.
As Lumiere. Hassan Nazari-Robati artistically created his character of a candlestick with James May as Cogsworth the clock, both masterfully combining their talents throughout the show with their multiple antics turning their supporting roles to being as important as the leads. Joe Hager as Gaston was perfect in this role while actually resembling a cartoon character in his bullying pursuit of Belle. Mrs. Potts, the teapot, played by Erin Edelle wonderfully demonstrated her talent through singing the theme song and explaining the importance of being part object and part human. Hilary Maiberger and Darick Pead portrayed the leads in this wonderful production.
This production of "Beauty and the Beast" unquestionably was spectacular with the costumes. Yes, this show did win a Tony Award for their costumes but to actually witness this extreme magnificence was phenomenal. For the number "Be Our Guest", the energy and dancing along with the numerous costumes easily proved to everyone why this show earned the Tony. Picture girls dancing with foam plates on their heads and instantly folding the plates down on their backs as part of the dance.
Particular songs did stand out such as "Be Our Guest" and the haunting tune, "If I Can't Love Her". Would I ever go to another Disney musical? If "Beauty and the Beast" is an example, then definitely. This show delighted all the members of this mostly adult audience who thoroughly loved this night of music, song, and the Disney magic.