Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is now playing in the SF Bay Area! This Broadway hit will call the San Jose Performing Arts Center home for the next few days from 3/6 – 3/11. I was so excited to attend opening night with my family! It was so cute to see so many mini-Belles and little ones carrying their favorite Belle doll.
The makeup and costumes were amazing! There were sparkles, bright colors, mixed patterns, and rich textures which complimented each other just right to bring the wardrobe a life of its own. When I met the cast afterwards I could hardly tell who was who. Emily Behny (Belle) did a wonderful job in both her acting and vocals. She seemed a bit stiff in the beginning but really shined in her role as the musical continued. My husband was really blown away by her wonderful solos – strong, crisp, and smooth. Dane Agostinis (Beast) is an amiable guy that really gave Beast a loving and fun character. He truly made Beast someone you were scared of, rooted for, and laughed with.
It (the live musical production) has everything the movie does but so much more. It will surprise you!
– Dane Agostinis (Beast)
The backgrounds and props were top-notch. In one scene, Lefou gets socked by Gaston and you could briefly see a tooth flying from his mouth across the stage. It was the subtle attention to detail that really added to the performance, in my opinion. Even with a stage full of sets and actors, it never felt too crowded or over the top though. My favorite scene had to be the beer mug clinking. Okay, that’s a really sad description but pretty much sums it up. Several cast members entered a carefully choreographed dance in which they moved in sync and clinked each others metal beer mugs. The timing was perfect and, despite the very simple premise, the scene turned out to be exciting and just a whole lot of fun!
One fun feature was the actress that portrayed Mrs. Potts, Julia Louise Hosack. She actually grew up here in the Bay Area! Her voice was enthralling and a perfect match for the “Beauty and the Beast” theme song. All of the cast did great. Logan Denninghoff (Gaston) and Michael Haller (Lumiere) delivered such life to their parts with their every facial expression and body movement. There were a couple of glitches with a note or two not being picked up by the sound system or a spotlight that got delayed but that’s part of live shows. This was a pretty close to perfect performance.
This musical was thoroughly enjoyed by my whole family. My husband was impressed by the sheer talent of the actors and the quality of the production. My daughter had so much fun with the lively characters and the ingenious effects. I smiled and laughed a lot but cried like a sap when Belle had to leave. Though this musical is based on the Disney animated film, it is something completely different and stands on its own in terms of story and music.
Parents want to keep in mind that this more of a PG-rated version. There were a few innuendos, some revealing costumes, Gaston is constantly knocking Lefou, and an intense fight scene at the end. My daughter told me she hid behind the head of the man in front of her when Gaston stabbed Beast a couple of times.
Overall, this is a great play that you should definitely get tickets to. It’s only here for a few more days and then the tour is off to Denver. I know you’ll love it as much as we did!