Last evening, the boy and I went on a rare date night out on a weekday. Our lives pretty much revolve around the little man so it was a special evening out for just the two of us. In case anyone’s wondering, Elliott was in the good hands of the in-laws.
From the same producers of The Lion King (which we enjoyed immensely), Beauty and the Beast is based on the 1991 animated feature film, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The musical premiered on Broadway in 1994 and ran for 13 years. It is still ranked as one of the longest-running and highest-grossing Broadway shows of all time. As part of the musical’s 20th anniversary, the original Broadway creative team reunited to take the production to over 12 countries for the first-ever international tour. Singapore is the 4th stop after UAE, Philippines and Thailand.
I was, and still am, a huge fan of Disney. I grew up watching Beauty and the Beast on videotape (ok, now I sound old) and still remember clearly the scene where the singing and dancing cutleries/dishes sang “Be Our Guest“.
Ah, childhood memories.
The boy do not remember watching it so I gave him a quick run-down of the story which is about Belle, a young lady in a provincial town, and the Beast who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast learns how to love and to be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self.
The musical was pretty similar to the movie so if, like me, you watched it as a kid, you will recognise familiar tunes, like “Little Town” and “Something there”. Of course, I was waiting for that classic scene where Beast and Belle enjoy dinner and a dance. When it came on, I was grinning like a kid in the darkened theatre and singing along. It’s amazing how I still remember the lyrics. You can check out some scenes of the musical here.
The title character of Belle, played by Hilary Maiberger is the splitting image of Belle (from the cartoon) and her voice is AMAZING. I was captivated everytime she sang and wished (again) that I could sing like that. Hur hur. She is also dating her co-star who plays the Beast. That’s convenient 🙂
Here are some fun facts about the production:
- The musical contains 6 songs from the film and one song that was cut from the film has been restored for the musical, joining 6 original songs written for the musical.
- There is a hidden “Mickey” in the tavern set drop!
- The production uses 81 wigs (phwah).
- There are 67 LED lights on the magic mirror.
- 36 mugs were used in Gaston’s tavern.
- The Feather Duster’s name is Babette. In the film, it never says her name, just like the wardrobe.
- The Wardrobe in Belle’s room (unnamed in the Disney film) is called Madame de la Grande Bouche and revealed to be a former famous opera diva.
- A scene only briefly seen in the background in the film is expanded upon, where Belle teaches the Beast to read. Additionally, the book they read in the film is Romeo & Juliet while in the musical it is King Arthur.
As it turns out, Disney is producing a live-action Beauty and the Beast, slated for a 2017 release. The cast is pretty spectacular with Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts and Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth! Ooh, I did think that McKellen would fit the bill perfectly as Cogsworth which was one of my favourite characters in the musical as well. Did you know that Hugh Jackman also played Gaston in 1995 version of the musical in Australia?
Tickets from $65 at SISTIC and it will close on 3 May so you have about 2 weeks to catch it!
Disclaimer: miss ene was given a pair of tickets (thank you, Base Entertainment!) to watch Beauty and the Beast. All opinions are my own.