This post is definitely late in coming.
A couple Sundays ago, September 30 to be exact, I was lucky enough to go see Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Broadway musical at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts in Houston, Texas. I found it interesting to compare the lengths between the feature film, the Broadway musical and the show performed at Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World. The feature film would obviously be the standard, setting the pace for the story. The DHS version does a great job hitting the highlights, telling the story and giving you the music you would expect. The Broadway musical is like the feature film on steroids. You get the story, highlights, filler, music, more story and more music. If I were to sum the musical up in the form of one word, great!
I was asked afterwards how I liked Beauty and the Beast compared to the Lion King, since I had recently seen that musical. Did I like it better? Overall, I would have to say I liked both equally. I preferred the costuming in Lion King compared to Beauty and the Beast. If you have seen the Lion King musical I would say the reasons would be quite obvious. If you haven’t, well, go search for images online and maybe you will be able to see why. While I really did like the props and how they utilized the stage with Lion King, I really liked the usage of the building sets in Beauty in the Beast. Objectively, and technically speaking, the Lion King did much more on stage to create the entire look and feel of the scene I feel. However, there was just something about the perception of space, and the overall simplicity of it, created that I really enjoyed.
If there was one aspect of the musical that I didn’t like it was the character Maurice. From my perception he came off way too effeminate. Measuring the character against the feature film character, I thought he came off more as a mother figure than a quirky father figure. Perhaps I have totally read the character wrong but that’s my take on it. To put it simply, I didn’t like Maurice in the musical. Not one bit.
As a whole, even with my critical view, the show was really good. There was a nice blend of comedy, music and story that kept it a fresh look on the classic Disney story. If you’re a Disney fan, I would recommend seeing this show if you have the chance.