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'Beauty and the Beast' works below the surface of musical theater

Published March 12, 2012 2:48 pm

Musical theater • 'Beauty and the Beast' brings old world, fairy-tale magic to Capitol Theatre stage.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Detractors say the fact that the Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast" is based on a Disney film mars its musical theater bona fides. Fans will say the connection only makes it more charming. Everyone else, meanwhile, will head the story's timeless lesson of looking beyond appearances and enjoy the show.

There's a reason this production—with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Time Rice and book by Linda Woolverton—has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide with almost 5,500 performances between its 1994 and 2007. Beyond its "great date-night" status, kids love the story too. And anyone not endeared by the allegorical story of moving beyond the most shallow of human emotions must, almost by definition, have a heart of stone.

Thankfully, the story is so much more. It also contains Belle's yearning for a life beyond provincial, small-town ways, the ugliness of arrogance in Gaston, and the final moment of redemption, before "the last petal falls."

This fourth national touring production, directed by Rob Roth, streamlines both the music and story—but not by much!—to make "Beauty and the Beast"the same wonderful story between Belle and the Beast, but with different sets, costumes and lighting for those who remember the first time they saw it all on stage.

Playing March 20-25 at Capitol Theatre, now's your chance to see this timeless story come alive on stage, charting a full circle from childhood story to adulthood fable.

bfulton@sltrib.com

Twitter:@Artsalt

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Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast'

When • March 20-25. Tuesday-Thursday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Where • Capitol Theatre, 50 W. 200 South, Salt Lake City.

Info • $32.50-$77.50. Call 801-323-6800 or visit http://www.beautyandthebeastontour.com or http://www.magicspace.net/saltlakecity for more information.