Beauty and the Beast is a tale as old as time as they say. True as that may be, it remains a timeless classic for me.
The peculiar bookworm Belle and the disdainful Beast are like fairytale versions of my all-time favorite couple Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pride and Prejudice. Belle and Beast’s hate-to-love courtship rivals Lizzy and Mr. Darcy’s. Although Lizzy is a plain Jane while Belle lives up to her name, the similarities in their temperaments and stories are undeniable.
I’ve been a fan of Beauty and the Beast since I was a child so I wasn’t going to miss the Manila run of the broadway musical for the world. Ticket prices were a bit high so I ended up in the cheaper, oxygen-thin, stratosphere section of CCP.
I don’t really have fear of heights but the steep incline at CCP’s balcony is a bit too much for me so I came prepared. I brought chocolate to munch on whenever I felt like my seat was going to propel me a hundred feet below to my death. Naturally, I finished it way before the intermission.
One of my favorite scenes is when the entire town gathers to gossip about the funny girl Belle. We all feel like this sometimes, being the odd one out.
What I found puzzling in the musical is when the librarian joined in mocking Belle when he should’ve been one of the few people in that little town – aside from Belle’s father – to understand her since he is, presumably, a bookworm himself.
The little people of the quiet village, however, worship the vain, shallow, primeval Gaston. So they immediately came to the rescue and cheered him up as he felt dismissed, rejected, publicly humiliated when Belle turned down his marriage proposal.
Spending the rest of her life as a prisoner in Beast’s castle may not have been what Belle had in mind when she wished for an adventure like the ones from her books but Lumiere and ‘the dining room’ made her feel more like a guest than a prisoner when they presented her dinner.
My favorite support cast were as adorable as their animated counterparts. Jokes may have been a little more adult than the cartoon’s but it was all good.
I love that they added layers to the story. Like how Vanity turned into one because as a human she was extremely vain, or how their transformation into objects was not instant. Cogsworth grew the key on his back way into the story and Mrs. Potts was slowly losing range of motion and turning more and more into a kettle due to the curse.
One of the layers I appreciated very much as well was that of Beast’s remorse. He was still a bit haughty about it though, reflecting the heart of his hearts, moaning that his punishment did not fit his crime.
But that was before he learned how to love.
Beast may not have put his best paw forward with Belle but when they shared a life-threatening experience, they came together on their own.
Beast’s transformation into his former self was awesome. They remained faithful to the animated movie, lifting him up and changing him midair. Props to the props team!
I may have started off terrified of the steep incline but my love for broadway outweighed my fears. By curtain call, I was sitting on the edge of my seat trying to sneak a peek at the orchestra. As much as I loved the full-length animation and am looking forward to the live action movie, nothing beats live orchestra music.
I’ll be on the lookout for the next great musical to watch but for now, au revoir!
*All promotional photos were downloaded from the Internet