Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the award-winning worldwide smash hit Broadway musical, returns to Florida with stops in Tampa and Orlando. Produced by NETworks Presentations, this elaborate theatrical production will come to life on the Morsani Hall stage at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts from May 5-10. Afterwards, the touring production makes a stop in Orlando and will perform in the aptly-named Walt Disney Theater at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts from May 12-17.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the Academy Award-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs composed by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice. The book is written by Linda Woolverton.
The original creators of the Broadway production have reunited for this new touring production. The play is directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, with Costume Design by Ann HouldWard (Tony Award winner for her work on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Lighting Design by Natasha Katz (four-time Tony Award winner), Scenic Design by Stanley A. Meyer, Sound Design by John Petrafesa Jr. and Music Supervision by Michael Kosarin.
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.
Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film and celebrating 20 years since its Broadway premiere in 1994, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has become an international sensation that has been seen by over 35 million people worldwide in 22 countries, and has been translated into nine different languages. This production launched in February 2010 and has been seen by 2.5 million people while playing more than 1,000 performances in all 50 United States and 8 Canadian provinces. Currently, there are four other productions playing around the world including Paris, tours in Japan and Germany, and a new international tour that currently will visit over 12 countries in two years.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will play in Tampa from May 5-10. Performances are Tuesday – Sunday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 6:30 p.m. The production will play in Orlando from May 12-17, with performances Tuesday – Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Tickets start at $46 (Tampa) and $33.75 (Orlando). You can purchase them online at strazcenter.org or drphillipscenter.org or at the box office right up to the night of the performance.
Kelly Teal Goyette plays the role of Madame de la Grande Bouche in this production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This isn’t her first time in the role, either: she played Madame in her home state of Vermont in 2008. With thirteen years of professional musical theater experience and five national tours under her belt, Kelly is a pro when it comes to all things Beauty and the Beast, and she’s having the time of her life touring North America. I interviewed her recently and asked her all about the production.
How much preparation was needed by all the actors before the show started its tour?
We rehearsed in New York for a month with the director and the musical directors and the other actors and then we rehearsed for two more weeks up in Syracuse, incorporating the tech team and lighting and everything. A month and a half is a pretty good amount of rehearsal time compared to some other productions I’ve been in, where rehearsals take two weeks.
Was it easy for you considering you had already performed this musical?
Totally. I definitely brought some of the quirks that I used in the previous show [in Vermont], but I think with so much time passing between the two productions, and getting older, maybe I’m adding a little more fabulousness to the role. When you’re younger, you may be shy and be afraid of taking risks, but now that I’m in my [coughs] early thirties…it’s easier to take a risk and make daring choices, even if you may end up looking like a fool. It’s nice to try it out at least and see what works. I’ve learned a lot.
What’s your favorite song in Beauty and the Beast and why?
I have two. My favorite song to watch from the wings is “Gaston.” It’s the song that takes place in Gaston’s saloon and the choreography is awesome. I try to replicate it every night off stage and I am incredibly unsuccessful! It’s like rubbing your tummy and patting your head at the same time. They pull it off and the audience goes wild. The song I love to perform is called “Human Again.” Belle is falling for the Beast and the objects in the house are turning back into humans, and it finally seems possible after all those years that they can finally be human again, to make a fresh, new start. It’s really emotional.
For more information on the Beauty and the Beast national tour, visit beautyandthebeastontour.com.