Be their guest! Review: “Disney’s Beauty & the Beast”

Beauty & the Beast, as portrayed by Jillian Butterfield & Ryan Everett Wood

Beauty & the Beast, as portrayed by Jillian Butterfield & Ryan Everett Wood

Magical. Magnificent. Amazing. There simply aren’t enough adjectives to describe what an incredible show “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” is bringing to Heinz Hall this week. It’s simply a must-see performance.

Following closely along with the well-loved animated film, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opened on March 31 to a packed theater and inspired a whole new generation of theater-lovers. Children of all ages were on the edge of their seats as the characters leapt from the screen to the stage.

Jillian Butterfield was a bright star as leading lady, Belle. Not only was she a perfect doppelganger for the film version, her voice was perfection. She was pure joy on the stage and complimented well by a very dominant and somewhat humorous Beast (Ryan Everett Wood). The romance was not only believable, but magical to watch unfold on the stage.

Gaston & Lefou, as portrayed by Cameron Bond & Jake Bridges

Gaston & Lefou, as portrayed by Cameron Bond & Jake Bridges

Of course, we can’t have Beauty and the Beast without our favorite egotistical, arrogant character, Gaston, and his trusty sidekick, Lefou. These two were a dynamic duo on stage. Of course, Gaston (Cameron Bond) looks like he walked straight out of the film. From his hair to his muscle bound physique, Bond was a perfect choice for the role.

If you attended the last Broadway tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast a few years ago, you’ll see some familiar sets. It looks and feels very much like the last performance, but the acting and singing is even better. While the important themes of the show – such as loving someone for who they are and not what they look like – are still present, this show in particular made sure to include the word “bully” several times which I felt was very impressive. It made a very clear point that we have a bullying problem in America. I loved how they captured such an important concept and kept it true to the story line.

This show is truly magical and even the youngest fans will be mesmerized watching the fairytale come to life. There is truly Disney magic at work here.

If you haven’t bought tickets to the show – don’t delay! The show runs through tomorrow, Easter Sunday, and would make a great gift from the bunny! Visit www.trustarts.org for more information or to purchase tickets.
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Review by Hayley Martin for Pennsylvania Bridges

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