The ‘90s were the golden age for Disney Animation, with Robin Williams as Aladdin’s booming Genie, the epic quality of Lion King and the entangled Beauty and the Beast shining as key moments for the studio. The latter showed us that when looking beneath the surface of hairy unkemptness, we’ll find sweet, tender love.
Beauty and the Beast is making its rounds as a Broadway musical with enough strife and internal conflict to make it a genuine drama.
David Baur—performing as the tumbling carpet and townsperson, and also my childhood next door neighbor—says that the songs “are a bit deep, with the beast singing about his hideous features and how nobody can ever love him. It’s his potential failure of survival if that last rose petal falls. The live production shows more meaning behind it than the movie.”
This stage production includes songs that didn’t make it into the movie because they’re a bit heavy for the kiddies. “The songwriter had been diagnosed with AIDS, and the lyrics relate to him feeling like a monster in the ‘80s when the epidemic had made him into an outcast. It’s perfect for the show, as it relates to not feeling human”
“It’s Disney, but it goes deeper,” says Baur.
I’d wondered if actors maintain character beyond the stage, but “Beast and Gaston actually have become good friends and hang out at the bar.”
With Disney’s success on Broadway, we explored possibilities from their catalog. David suggested “Goof Troop. It has a musical aspect. I don’t know if the kids would get it, but in our age bracket, it would sell.”
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST
PRESENTED BY BROADWAY IN BOSTON
TUE 5.29.12-SUN 6.3.12
BOSTON OPERA HOUSE
539 WASHINGTON ST.
TIMES VARY/ALL AGES/$30-$170