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'Disney's Beauty And The Beast' A Shockingly Cheap And Dismal Production

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Perhaps the piece of lighting equipment falling to the stage just before Belle made her entrance was an omen of things to come.  It seems that everything about this show was done in the cheapest manner.  It does NOT serve the material well. 

A show such as 'Beauty And The Beast' cannot be done with sets and costumes that seem to have been bought from the local party supply store.  Nor can it employ performers who do not yet have their Equity cards.  Going 'on the cheap' can be okay for some shows.  Not for this one.  Not for a stage adaptation of the only animated film ever nominated for a Best Picture Oscar (prior to animated films getting their own category, that is.) 

Cheapening this show has ripped out its heart and ripped out its guts and it is a huge, huge disappointment.  I saw the first national tour of BEAUTY and I loved it.  I was expecting a similar experience last night.  What appeared to unfold onstage was a glorified high school production, perhaps with a few more dollars to spend than average.

Why couldn't this tour have the quality of the first national tour?

I felt terrible for the kids, especially those attending a Broadway show for the first time.  This is not the way it's supposed to be kids.  A great Broadway show delivers goose bumps and heart, and perhaps makes you laugh and cry.  It is certainly unforgettable.  None of this was on display at the Arsht last night and for this I am sorry.

I frankly am baffled as to what went on.  The budgets given the show's original set designer and original costume designer were clearly much lower than given for the original production.  However, they couldn't do better than this?  Come on people.  You are award winning 'creatives.'  It seems you did this show on the side of your desk or had your assistant's brother do it.  Your work was distracting, disappointing, and helped bring down this production of BEAUTY.

How fabulous the first national tour was.  How very low they have sunk with this production.  The actors playing Belle, the Beast, and Gaston tried hard and did just fine.  It didn't matter.  There were no thunderous applause from last night's audience, and laughter was almost nonexistent.  Even from the children!  I was hoping their young minds would capture something from the stage that I wasn't and they would enjoy the show.  I was sadly mistaken.

Anyone who saw this show on Broadway or saw the first national tour will likely experience anger.  I did and I still am.  I don't know what the choreographer and director had in mind.  But, this BEAUTY is a bore.

A wrap on the knuckles to the folks at NETworks for producing this tour.  Shame, shame, shame.  WWW.ARSHT.ORG.

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From This Author Beau Higgins

Currently spending his time between New York and Florida, Beau was born to a theatrical family in Brooklyn. He studied drama at the Lee Strasberg (read more...)