THE TALE AS OLD AS TIME ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO WITH A WONDERFUL TAKE ON THI
THE BEAST WILL WIN YOUR HEART, FOR THE PAST 22 YEARS THIS LOVE STORY CONTINUES TO DELIGHT AUDIENCES.
“BE OUR GUEST” is the running title for Disney's new live action film of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. But you can be the Beast’s guest for the next two weeks as the delightful touring company of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST resides at the Orpheum Theatre only through July 10th. The production, which has been on the road since September of 2015, is headed by the same team-- director, Rob Roth, and choreographer, Matt West, who originally brought this musical to Broadway in 1994. The classic fairytale originated in 18th century France. It’s the story of beautiful, innocent Belle, whose quirky father is taken captive by the Beast, an enchanted prince. Belle offers herself in place of her father and discovers a fantastic adventure. It first debuted as an animated film in 1991; the award-winning Disney musical holds up to its classic tale still after 22 years.
It features the same story and songs as the Disney animated movie, plus new tunes written for the stage production. Music by the great Alan Menken, lyrics by Tim Rice and Howard Ashman with a book by Linda Woolverton. The 4th of July weekend will sparkle with this enchanted story as it lights up the summer skies here in the Bay Area. The love story has been performed to more than 35 million people worldwide in 21 countries since its 1994 debut at the Palace Theatre in New York. Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” played on Broadway for 13 years, making it the eighth-longest running musical in Broadway history.
Singing candlesticks and a teapot, charm as Belle wins the heart of the Beast in a tale as old as time and as enduring as ever. The Beast was last here in San Francisco and San Jose in 2010 and is a favorite on local regional stages. Yet the official NETworks tour has a professional energy that will always make you smile. The romantic heart of the show still is a beautiful love tale. Of course the story is one of our favorite storybook classics, yet “The Phantom of the Opera” comes to mind when you see our heroine captured by the Beast. But he is not the Phantom and all your old friends are there. The handsome prince condemned by a magical curse to a life as the burly beast. This Beast played by Sam Hartley is more threatening and sympathetic for his search for love.
Hartley plays the creature as a cross between the Phantom, the Hunchback of Notre Dame and a gentle giant; he conveys the passion of awakening love. He has a big voice and uses it to great effect in “How Long Must This Go On”. Belle, played by the elegant and excellent Brook Quintana, is the beautiful, strong bookworm who wanders into the Beast's castle and becomes his window to break the spell. The two struck such sympathy that you really hope the winsome Belle will see "the beauty that lies within" and fall in love with him. Her remarkable winning voice in “Home” captures Quintana’s performance. The cast of 30 all pour their hearts and souls to tell this two and half hour classic. Baritone, Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek, who plays the villain Gaston sings “Me’ and establishes himself as the bully and the man who wants to marry Belle. Christiaan has a booming voice and his sidekick, Lafou played by the delightful Matt Dasilva, has the perfect comic timing with his headstrong boss.
The storybook sets by Stanley Meyer are grand, the performances are fresh and the bewitched characters in the castle turning from human into pottery really touch your heart. Mrs Potts, the kindly teapot played by Stephanie Gray, Chip, the teacup played by child actors and scene stealers Jake Jones and Deanre Horner, and Cogsworth, the stressed out windup clock played by the frisky Samuel Shurtleff. Above all the commanding dapper, Lumiere played by the charmer and marvelous Ryan Phipps, who sings in a French accent as thick as the Bastille and makes a most awe-inspiring candelabra, especially when he invites us to "Be Our Guest." This show stopping number is a huge as any 4th of July event you will see this weekend. The second act brings some of Alan Menken’s classic work like “Beauty and the Beast” sung by the elegant, Stephanie Gray. “Home” sung by Belle and the Beast is also a moment in the story that can move you to tears.
This new tour is no longer part of Disney Productions, it now has been licensed to NETworks Presentations, director, Rob Roth; choreographer, Matt West; and costume and set designers, Ann Hould-Ward and Stanley A. Meyer, who created the Broadway hit were part of the package deal to put this stellar musical back on tour. They made sure the talent and characters are the heart of this show and that the big selections, “Gaston” with a new dance number set to the beat of clinking metal beer mugs, and especially centerpiece “Be My Guest,” complete with fireworks and streamers, remained the showstopper. The Orpheum sold out opening-night audience were pleased and the many families and fans were on their feet at the close of the musical. The BEAST is only in town for a short run, get your tickets soon.
SHN and NETworks presents
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
Music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, with additional songs composed by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice, Book by Linda Woolverton.
Directed by Rob Roth, Choreographed by Matt West,
Music Director Kevin Francis Finn
Costume Design by Ann Hould-Ward
Only Through July 10th
San Francisco’s SHN Orpheum Theatre
running time two hours 30 min
Photo’s by MATTHEW MURPHY
Connect with SHN: for more info and tickets
High lights from Touring Beauty and the Beast
Ticket Specials include $40 MOBILE RUSH Download the TodayTix app in the iOS App Store or Google Play Store to unlock the Rush ticketing feature for Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST by sharing on Facebook or Twitter through the app. Check back in the app at 9:00am for access to exclusive day-of $40 Rush tickets for every performance. Limited number of Rush tickets per performance. For more information, click here. SPECIAL $40 IN-PERSON RUSH A limited number of $40 Rush tickets will be available for every performance beginning 2 hours prior to curtain at the SHN Orpheum Theatre Box Office. Tickets are subject to availability. Cash only. 2 per person. Rush tickets are void if resold.