Beauty and the Beast
With music by Alan Menken, and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice
March 2nd – 4th at 7:30 p.m.
Broadway Comes To Bloomington
The version of Beauty and the Beast at the IU Auditorium is the same as the Broadway show. It’s based on the Disney movie, but boasts seven additional songs and, of course, real actors playing all those cartoon characters.
The show has plenty of special effects, and lots of clever scene changes. Its various sets range from the whimsical home of the villagers to the scary depths of the forest and even to the magical interior of the Beast’s castle.
Beauty and the Beast is essentially a humorous show. There are quite a few frightening moments, but those are brief and safe. And at the end of the day, a thought or two has come through about the transforming power of love and care.
Liz Shivener was effective as the heroine, bookish Belle. Nathaniel Hackmann was a delight as the boastful muscle bound Gaston with poor Michael Fatica as Lefou, his frequent punching bag.
Of the castle characters my favorite was Keith Kirkwood as the clock, but Sabina Petra as the Mrs. Potts and Keith Kirkwood as the candelabra more than filled the roles that we’ve come to know so well from the cartoon. Justin Glaser was a sympathetic beast.
Accommodating A Younger Audience
Unlike many shows at the IU Auditorium, Beauty and the Beast begins at seven-thirty. Its audience includes a number of members who need booster seats or laps. Despite the early start, they stay up way past their bed times. A few heads may yet droop by the time the final curtain closes, but it’s a tribute to the show that it held their attention throughout.
Indiana University Graduates Join The Orchestra
The show’s orchestra includes two Indiana University graduates, the conductor, Carolyn Violi and reed player Ryan Claus. Although Claus did his college work in Bloomington, Violi is claimed by the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.