Disney's Beauty & The Beast

mikeyb16
Broadway Star
joined:1/22/06
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/18/14 at 05:38pm
I recently saw on Twitter a tweet from the Dominion Theatre with a link showing a documentary of the London Production in 1997. I found it interesting as I had never had the chance to see it in London. I always wondered why it only lasted almost 3 years as many people thought it would run a little bit longer.

I was lucky enough to catch it on Broadway in July 2001 but had also heard great things about the London Production as well as the UK Tour. I was gutted it didn't tour Cardiff as the Wales a Millennium Centre wasn't built at the time.

I was just wondering out of interest what people thought of the show and if they had any great memories of seeing it in London or on Tour?


Updated On: 1/18/14 at 05:38 PM
luke-h***
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/06
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/18/14 at 06:59pm
A much smaller production has since been touring the UK, Produced by UK Productions, and it's not even comparable as far as design and spectacle goes.

I saw the first UK Tour in Bristol, and to my knowledge the London Production/UK Tour were almost identical to the Broadway production, so if you saw it in on Broadway you didn't miss a lot. I may be wrong, but I'm sure they were the same.

I saw the 2007 Berlin production of Beauty and the Beast (Die Schöne und das Biest) produced by Stage Entertainment at Theater am Potsdamer Platz. You should check images or videos of that production out if you can find any, it was completely re-designed and really very stunning.
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Musicaldudepeter
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/10
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/18/14 at 08:22pm
It suffered due to its use of British accents; and also its leading couple, Julie Alannah Brighten and Alisdair Harvey (where the hell are they now?) were extremely weak... Listen to the cast recording and you'll see what I mean. Derek Griffiths's Lumiere was charming, and he was perfectly matched by Barry James's Cogsworth and the late great Mary Millar's Mrs. Potts. The Broadway production was superior in general, but the London version had some good aspects. 3 years was a solid, healthy run. London preferred Poppins though overall I think.
Phantom of London
Broadway Legend
joined:3/26/08
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/18/14 at 09:51pm
I heard from a old poster on here, who doesn't post anymore, but someone who is well versed in all aspects of theatre, who says it was poorly produced and handled. Also we don't go made for Disney like the Americans do, who certainly like to show their love for their big corporations.

Saying the only time I saw Beauty and the Beast and indeed that was on Broadway and it was excellent.
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Justin D
Broadway Legend
joined:4/11/05
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/20/14 at 08:24am
I always thought the short run a bit odd, and being produced by Stage entertainment out of Germany and not Disney Theatrical was odder still, particularly when you look at the run Lion King has.

Also a bit stumped why they never brought Aida over
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27199361@N08/ Phantom at the Royal Empire Theatre
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/21/14 at 03:52am
I saw this in London Summer of 1999. At that time John Barrowman was a strong Beast, but I was not really won over by Michelle Gayle as Belle.
Stevie72
Stand-by
joined:1/19/14
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/21/14 at 05:51pm
It won the Olivier Award for best musical. I have a felling it was just not as exciting to British as it would be to the Americans
philitalia
Broadway Legend
joined:10/30/08
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/22/14 at 03:27am
Personally, I had no interest in seeing the show at first, but I loved the Australian production. Afterwards I decided to go and see it in London, but that really failed to impress me. I have no idea why. Maybe it was because the Dominion was half empty.

In 1996/97 the West End was a very crowded place and a lot of new shows struggled (Martin Guerre, Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Smokey Joe's Café,...).
Chicago opened only a few months after Beauty and the Beast and I suppose that was the biggest hit the West End had seen in years.



Updated On: 1/22/14 at 03:27 AM
CATSNYrevival
Broadway Legend
joined:3/1/04
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/24/14 at 12:49am
I actually prefer the London cast recording to the Broadway recording. I believe they recorded the Broadway cast prior to opening night and so the lyric changes that were made to "Maison des Lunes" and the reprise of "If I Can't Love Her" are preserved on the London cast recording and not the Broadway recording. Overall I like Alisdair Harvey better as the beast. (I think he sang the songs in higher keys, correct?) It sounds better, but I like Susan Egan better as Belle so sometimes I go back and forth between the two recordings.

It's a shame that "A Change in Me" hadn't been written yet. It's actually my favorite song in the score and it's missing on all three English language cast recordings. I like Susan Egan's version of it on her solo CD, but I'd really love it if someone would record the final version they used on Broadway with the belted ending and the Broadway orchestration. Maybe someday we'll get a revival cast recording.
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SuperSecretBoyband
Swing
joined:6/20/13
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/31/14 at 06:49am
Ashley Brown recorded a version of A Change in Me for On The Record, with the Broadway orchestrations and belted ending; they changed the ending to that for her when she joined the Broadway cast as Belle. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtXfOuToIac
Stevie72
Stand-by
joined:1/19/14
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 1/31/14 at 06:54am
philitalia, with hugh jackman???
rosscoe(au)
Broadway Legend
joined:8/20/05
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/1/14 at 03:47am
The Australian production had Hugh, but was also a financial disaster. At the time Disney was using other producers to mount Beauty. But the royalites where insanely high ( over 80% ) the show would have had to have ran sold out in Australia foray least six years for the producers to make money, Disney on the other hand was rolling in it. I am guessing the same producer rights where used for the London production.

By the way Hugh was perfect as Gaston.
Well I didn't want to get into it, but he's a Satanist. Every full moon he sacrifices 4 puppies to the Dark Lord and smears their blood on his paino. This should help you understand the score for Wicked a little bit more. Tazber's: Reply to Is Stephen Schwartz a Practicing Christian
Stevie72
Stand-by
joined:1/19/14
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/1/14 at 04:17am
yes its a shame he is not in musicals more because his perfect for them
philitalia
Broadway Legend
joined:10/30/08
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/3/14 at 09:39am
Stevie, in all honesty I don't remember exactly who was in the cast (it's been almost 20 years). In those days Hugh Jackman was a complete unknown to me - I first noticed him when he was in Oklahoma! in London sometime later, but that could be because he took his shirt off

I have to look for the brochure, because now I'm curious if he was in the cast at that time.

Updated On: 2/3/14 at 09:39 AM
alterego
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/03
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/13/14 at 07:40am
Hugh Jackman was standout in BEAUTY, however in his next role in SUNSET BOULEVARD he failed to impress me.
darreyl102
Broadway Star
joined:8/23/08
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/25/14 at 04:01pm
Mary Miller’s rendition of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ was PURRRFECTION!!!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PshNkZMRbpo
Eurotrash
Swing
joined:8/28/13
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/26/14 at 05:23am
In case not spotted, the show is currently playing Paris and seems to be doing well.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixwRbwJ_l2k
luke-h***
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/06
Disney's Beauty & The Beast
Posted: 2/28/14 at 05:56pm
This is Sateg Entertainment's production.

Lovely production. It's only running until May though, maybe it isn't doing that well.
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