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June 07, 2012

Beauty & The Beast - Academy of Music

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the award-winning worldwide smash hit Broadway musical, is coming to Philadelphia as part of theBroadway Season, presented by The Kimmel Center and The Shubert Organization.  Produced by NETworks Presentations, this elaborate theatrical production will come to life on stage at the Academy of Music for 9 performances on June 4 – 10.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the animated film’s Academy Award®-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.

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.

My thoughts:
It's been many years since I saw the cartoon version of Beauty and the Beast so I had forgotten much of the story line, so I was able to view this show with fresh eyes, not comparing it line by line to the movie, which I found to be helpful and made it more enjoyable. I was particularly impressed with Emily Behny (Belle) and Michael Haller (Lumiere). Lumiere's character is hysterical and I felt that Michael played it up perfectly, while Emily's voice was crystal clear with enough youth to sound like it could have been a fairy tale character. She played it well. The entire case did a fantastic job entertaining the audience, and I heard the children around me singing along to the songs, perhaps even a few adults too. I love musicals that have an emotional impact, but also entertain with comedy too, and this one had both. A job well done!

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