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Live On Stage!
May 15 - 20
The Mainstage at Proctors
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL LOVE STORY EVER TOLD COMES TO LIFE!
Schenectady, NY – April 27, 2012 -- DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the classic story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity. The smash hit Broadway musical, DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film. This eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of over 35 million people worldwide. This classic musical love story is filled with unforgettable characters, lavish sets and costumes, and dazzling production numbers including Be Our Guest and the beloved title song.
Experience the romance and enchantment of family-friendly DISNEY’S BEAUTY and the Beast: Running time, 130 minutes with one intermission.
Ticket prices for DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST are; Tue - Thu $20, $30, $40, $50 & $65; Fri - Sat $20, $45, $60, $70 & $85. Tickets are available at Proctors Box Office (518) 346-6204 or online at proctors.org.
Discounts on tickets are available for groups of 20 or more. A listing of shows and pricing may be found on proctors.org/group_sales or by contacting Proctors Group Sales at 518-382-3884 ext. 139.
DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEASTat Proctors is made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York State's 62 counties.
DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is part of the Keeler Broadway on Tour Series.
Sub-sponsors forDISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST are: Fenimore Asset Management / FAM FUNDS, Deanna's Cafe & Catering, Logical Net, NBT Bank, STS Steel and Stewart's Shops.
Take Part in The Henry Schaffer TheatreTalk
Pre-show, Thurs., May 17 at 1PM (before the 2PM performance).
“This series of talks is intended to enrich the experience of patrons at Proctors by giving them additional perspectives on the shows they are seeing,” said CEO Philip Morris. “We are appreciative of the H. Schaffer Foundation for their support of this effort to enrich the cultural experiences of those attending our shows,” he added.
The Henry Schaffer TheatreTalk series offers pre- or post-performance arts discussions to ticket buyers free of charge. The discussions are delivered by Company artists to engage patrons in a unique forum for learning about a specific performance. Audience members are encouraged to ask questions about the artists, repertoire and performance, creating a dynamic interaction geared toward increasing awareness about the Arts.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Looking into the heart of an all-new ‘Beauty’
By Brendan Lemon
Disney’s Beauty and the Beastnow embarked on a lavish and visually re-imagined new tour presented by NETworks, is one of best loved of all musicals. It’s easy to understand why. Its classic story -- of a beautiful village girl, Belle, who is first repelled by, then attracted to a gruff yet big-hearted Beast --is indeed, as one of the show’s numbers has it, “a tale as old as time.” The songs (music by Alan Menken; lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice) are almost criminally tuneful. And the musical’s appeal crosses age barriers: truly, “Beauty” is an experience that can be enjoyed by child and adult alike.
Many of the songs – the charming “Belle,” the infectious “Something There,” and the spectacular hospitality anthem “Be Our Guest” – were written for the 1991 animated movie, which was the first – and until 2010, the only – animated film ever to be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar. The movie’s status not just in cinematic history but in critical lore was cemented when the New York Times’ then-theater critic Frank Rich, called Beauty and the Beast the best musical of the year – in any format.
Disney took the cue, and soon started things rolling for the live adaptation. Several new songs, as well as the book by Linda Woolverton, were written for the stage version, which opened on Broadway at the Palace Theater on April 18, 1994, and went on to become the seventh-longest running production in Broadway history.
Rob Roth, who directed the Broadway premiere and is back at the helm for the new tour, says that the “story of the show is about seeing past the exterior of a person and into his or her heart.” He says that conveying that feeling is key to any production of “Beauty.” What’s fresh about the tour, he adds, is not just the timeless moral but a new approach to the visuals.
“So few directors have the opportunity to work on a show several years later in a new form,” Roth says. “I’m lucky that way, and I’m also lucky because I never get bored with ‘Beauty.’”
Stan Meyer, the scenic designer both for the 1994 Broadway version and for the new production, says that the former staging was, essentially, the 1991 movie made live. The latter is “a departure from that.” He explains: “We did a lot of research that involved eastern-European wood carving and gilded manuscripts. The new version is an illuminated manuscript come to life.”
Audiences will delight in the eye-popping storybook shapes and colors that Meyer and the other original-version designers (Ann Hould-Ward: costumes; Natasha Katz: lighting) have re-imagined. The production’s look, adds Meyer, “is more evocative of whimsy and very, very romantic.”
Matt West, the production’s choreographer (both in 1994 and 2010), is especially excited for the freedom the new design gives the show’s dancing. “Frankly,” he admits, “I always wanted the town buildings in the opening number to move, and now they do. And now the castle set can go completely offstage, so there’s a lot more room for the whole cast to waltz. That’s special.”
The new production of “Beauty” is a treat not only for the creative team but also for the cast. For Liz Shivener, who plays Belle, the job is the realization of a dream. Shivener says she got “really obsessed with [‘Beauty’]” at the age of around 8. “Like a lot of little girls,” she says, “that’s the age when I wanted to be a princess.”
Shivener says that, as a child in Ohio, she used to dance around the house and sing all the songs from the show. She continues: “As great as it is for kids to see the DVD version at home, it’s an even bigger treat for them to experience it in a theater. The whole world of this story takes on a much bigger scale. Kids don’t forget that.”
The songs of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast are so familiar that it is easy to take for granted the people who sing them. For the numbers to reach their spectacular potential takes people who can sing and dance with equal finesse, and the tour has them in abundance. In addition to Shivener, there are Nathaniel Hackmann as Gaston and Justin Glaser as the Beast – all part of a large, multi-gifted cast.
Hackmann, who grew up in a musical family, in Arizona, has sung with top classical companies like the Virginia Opera. He has done Gaston, the conceited village bully in “Beauty,” twice before, and understands why audiences are drawn to him. “It’s a classic case of the character who you love to hate. There’s so much comedy to him, and he’s been drawn so cleverly by the people who wrote the show.”
Glaser, who is from Kentucky, says he not only enjoys performing the songs every night but also is continually inspired by its message. “We live in a world of beautiful celebrities and it seems as if you don’t look exactly like them that you don’t have a chance in love. But that’s just not true. There are many qualities that make people attractive – having brains like Belle, or tenderness like the Beast displays eventually. I’m excited to take this show around the country and remind audiences of these things.”