Beauty and the Beast: a tale as old as time

The tale of a beautiful, smart girl who falls in love with a fearsome beast is one that has delighted children for generations since it was first published in the 18th century. When Disney offered their adaptation of the fairy tale in their 1991 animated film, the story came to life, and its iconic songs still resonate with audiences today.

The Broadway adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is an insightful re-imagining of the movie, bringing an added depth to its beloved, iconic characters. The play has also added some delightful new songs to the movie’s original score. The production has been running since 1994, and is celebrating 20 years since its first premiere, having been performed in over 22 countries and translated into nine different languages. This current production was launched in 2010, and is bringing the show to several cities in North America, including Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

Ryan Everett Wood will be playing the Beast in this Broadway production.“The show has something that everyone can identify with,” he told The Peak. “It speaks to the experience of being able to look at someone’s heart in order to really see what is inside of a person. Belle is an outcast in her town even though she is beautiful. The Beast is big and scary, and nobody really understands him either, but he is really just a kid at heart. There’s romance, a lot of humour. . . it is a beautiful story, and there is something for everyone.”

The classic childhood tale has plenty of heart, and the Broadway adaptation is no exception. Wood adds that the audience will be able to get to know the characters in a more personal way, incorporating more backstory to provide the reasons behind their feelings and motives. As for his character, the misunderstood Beast, Wood characterizes him by saying, “He himself learns how to not judge someone based on their appearance. He has so much self-discovery in such a short amount of time. What I love the most about the Beast is that while he initially appears to be very aggressive, as time goes on the audience will fall more and more in love with him.”

Disney’s sweetness, charm, and heart come to life in a magical Broadway show that will offer both kids and adults something to enjoy. “We are giving audiences around the world a chance to experience a Broadway show,” said Wood. “We are able to touch families and make memories for them that they wouldn’t have otherwise. It brings a community together — for how often do we get so many people under one roof that are laughing and enjoying a story like this?”

Beauty and the Beast will be presented by Broadway Across Canada  3 to 8 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. For more information, visit vancouver.broadway.com. For tickets, visit ticketmaster.ca.   

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