Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage ~ By Amber Montes de Oca
As a musical, Beauty and the Beast is considered to be a big hit. It’s won Grammy Awards and Academy Awards for its music.
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage is a live Broadway-style musical based on the 1991 Disney movie Beauty and the Beast. The show is located in the Theater of the Stars, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Walt Disney World.
The story begins when an old beggar woman offers a spoiled and selfish prince a single rose in exchange for shelter from the cold; but because of her ugly appearance, the prince turns her away. He’s then transformed into a Beast as punishment. Only learning to love another and earning their love in return can break the spell.
The song “Belle” begins and the curtain opens, revealing Belle strolling through the village, reading a book. The other villagers comment that Belle is especially beautiful, yet also strange and isn’t like the rest of them. Gaston arrives onstage and, along with the villagers, sing and brag about him. After all the villagers leave, Gaston takes Belle’s book from her and asks her to marry him; but she refuses. Gaston takes her book away again, saying that she will marry him, and leaves. Belle sings about her wanting a life outside of the provincial town. Shortly after, Belle finds herself in the Beast’s castle where she meets the enchanted objects, who are the servants also under the spell. Along with the dancers, they invite her to “Be Our Guest” for dinner, where they bring out food carts and giant spoons. Afterward, the Beast enters onstage saying he’s afraid that Belle will only see him as a monster. Belle then wanders into the West Wing and finds the rose. The Beast finds her and says that he’s told her never to go there, which causes them to argue. The objects gently tell the Beast be kind to her, if they’re ever going to break the spell. Over time, the two start to bond and eventually fall in love.
Back in the village, Gaston convinces the villagers that the Beast is a dangerous monster and declares that they have to go after him and kill him. Belle comes out during a fight between Gaston and the Beast, and afterwards tells the injured Beast that she loves him. The spell breaks, and the Beast is magically transformed back into the Prince. Along with all the dancers, Belle and the Prince dance happily to the “Beauty and the Beast” song.
The show has combined a few different tones. The enchanted objects give a comical tone, while the mob song, the fight scene and the transformation provide serious tones.
The major conflict in this play is the Beast’s struggle to become kind and to love and earn the love of another, in order break the spell. The major theme of Beauty and the Beast is to not judge someone by their appearance, because beauty comes from within.
The idea of the show is to recreate the classic Disney movie. The same characters, similar dialogue, and all the same songs from the movie appear in the show. To anyone who has seen the movie, the characters and songs are easy to recognize. All of the scenes happen in the order that they appear in the movie. However, since the show is slimmed down to twenty-five minutes, some scenes and characters from the movie don’t appear, including Belle’s father Maurice, their horse Phillipe, Belle coming to the castle and taking her father’s place as the Beast’s prisoner, the wolves, Belle and the Beast’s ballroom dance, and the Beast allowing Belle to return home. It’s my favorite show at Disney World and I could definitely see it more than once a day. The show is fantastic and it’s a performance that I encourage people of all ages to see.
Beauty and the Beast has daily performances at 11:45am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:15pm, and 5:30pm.
About the Author: Amber Montes de Oca is a huge Disney fan. She’s an annual pass holder and loves to visit the Disney parks often. Her hobbies are singing, acting, and drawing. She has a BA from the University of Central Florida.