Broadway sizzles in Sacramento this summer, proving that there truly is so much more than this provincial life. Add to that a story of excavating true love amidst the most peculiar and tragic of circumstances and you have Disney’s family classic musical, Beauty and the Beast. This version, directed by Glenn Casale, choreographed by John MacInnis, and musically directed by Craig Barna, will charm the entire family as it tells the tale as old as time. Don’t believe me? Ask the dishes.
This iconic love story is beautifully and hilariously portrayed with an amazing cast and masterful choreography. The theme, derived from the 1740s fairytale, is a testament to the fact that time really has no impact on the travails of love and romance. You will easily be laughing one minute and tearful the next as the beautifully tragic French story introduces the intelligent, dreamy, pure-of-heart Belle (played by the beautiful Jessica Grové). With her nose in a book, she is so misunderstood and so beautiful you can’t help but wonder how she will end up. Enter, the unrelenting “player” Gaston (played by the handsome and brilliantly talented Australian, Peter Saide) to interrupt her quest for true love (and a good book!) with his burl, brawn and large ego. Fortunately, her eccentric inventor of a father, Maurice (marvelously played by Gordon Goodman) will affirm her path of integrity by reminding her that being unique is, in fact, a good thing!
The Baroque tale unfolds, enhanced by several not so invisible and hilariously comical servants. Le Fou, (played by the fabulously ebullient Jared Gertner), Madame de la Grande (played by Jacqueline Piro Donovan), Cogsworth (played perfectly by David Hibbard), Lumiere (played by Michael Paternostro) and Mrs. Potts (played by Shannon Warne) will each warm your heart and send pings of laughter through your soul. As Belle continues to not follow the “common herd” by rebuffing Gaston, saving her father, and fighting the good fight, she finds herself perilously falling for her captor, a hideous Beast, (played by actor extraordinaire and Sacramento native, James Snyder). The formidable creature, obsessed by her beauty and conflicted by his own demons (and self-inflicted beastly appearance), battles his own way to finding goodness and truth. Luckily, true love and happy endings prevail before the last petal of the enchanted Rose falls.
With dazzling, energized, exuberant, and off-the-antler-hook performances of “Be Our Guest”, “Gaston”, “Belle”, and “Beauty and the Beast”, the musical’s choreography and direction prove to be on point. (I must admit, I got a little teary-eyed during “No Matter What”, a song that perfectly captures the unshakeable bond between Maurice and Belle.) This production of the timeless classic will in no way disappoint, rather remain exactly as it is — the crème de la crème of musicals.
Get your tickets to the tale as old as time before it’s too late! The Music Circus musical takes over the Wells Fargo Pavilion now through July 2. For showtimes, visit Beauty and the Beast‘s Sacramento365 page.