Thursday, July 14, 2011

Disney's Beauty and the Beast (theatre review)

I got to go to “Disney’s The Lion King” a year ago and that was my first experience with Disney musicals.

It was awesome. Not only is the show totally tits, but the Broadway In Chicago people are friendly, helpful and have all their shit together, which can be a relief when you usually deal with the volunteer marketing directors in our beloved storefront scene.

I really wish I had gotten a BFA.

So I was totally pumped to go see “Disney’s Beauty And The Beast” at the wonderful “Disney’s Oriental Theater” in the heart of downtown “Disney’s Chicago”.

I went with my friend Tom, so we immediately had the creep factor of two middle-aged men at a little girl’s play. BUT THAT’S WHERE YOU ARE WRONG!!

See, anyone who has ever been to anything Disney knows that they have scientists working around the clock to make every production and experience equally as enjoyable for adults, too.

An old man who loves cartoon musicals

We al know the story of Beauty And The Beast because it is a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.

In fact, from the first words sung, it was completely visceral for anybody who knows anything.

There goes the baker with his tray, like always

The same old bread and rolls to sell

Ev'ry morning just the same

Since the morning that we came

To this poor provincial town

Oh man, I was STOKED!!!

In fact, when you go see a Disney play, it sort of makes you feel like shit for all the hard work you have done for the last 10 years making plays out of things you found in the garbage, because this play costs like, 3 million dollars.

The best part about Disney plays for me, was something I noticed in the first act that I hadn’t noticed before…there is no irony or skepticism. Nobody is winking at me or breaking any walls or juxtaposing a Fleet Foxes song against a play set in the 1800’s. It’s just a fairy tale told as a fairy tale. To me, that is so relaxing and you are able to let your guard down because no one is trying to give you a message. Eric and I have discussed Art Vs. Entertainment at some of our appearances and while it exists in all aspects of theatre, Disney is the finest.

Basically, quit trying to get me to learn some shit at your play. I don’t want to.

Towards the end of the first act is probably the most celebrated number from this thing called “Be Our Guest”. You see, Belle has just become the castle prisoner of the Beast and refused to eat with him. The Beast storms off, leaving Belle alone in the castle to wander and make new friends with the furniture. There is a clock named Cogsworth, and a Candlestick thing named Lumiere. They are the bosses of the house. Cogsworth is always worried about the Beast not being happy and about the rose petals falling off the rose, because when the last petal drops, they will stay as these objects forever. Lumiere is so concerned with banging the feather duster, he doesn’t care about shit. Well, Belle comes downstairs and meets them and they tell her that they can make her any food she wants and then they do this dance to the song “Be Our Guest” which is fucking incredible. There are dancing plates and spoons and Welcome mats that do back flips, and teapots and all sorts of crazy appliances doing dances. They shoot confetti at the audience and hold for applause for about 25 minutes.

Then the Beast comes back out and sings some more about how sad he is.

If I were them, I would switch those 2 songs, because after the sensory overload of “Be Our Guest” I wasn’t ready to hear that monster sing anymore until after I had a cigarette.

Well, the Beast and Belle find true love and the candlestick gets his hands back, so he is ready to fingerblast everyone, and everyone has a great final dance time.

I don’t know how much tickets cost or who is equity or any of that bullshit. If they wanna do the play and know they are making less, good for them. Unions are never a sign of talent, so don’t be thrown off because of any of that stuff being discussed.

It’s a Disney show and the quality is unmistakably there.

We had a great time, and got to meet the cast afterwards, which wasn’t as exciting because they aren’t union.

Who's the broad in the red and what is she doing tonight and does she like married guys?

The raping candlestick wasn’t there; I really wanted to meet him.

Anyway, you don’t need to hear it from me, but this show is pretty cool, take your daughters, or just go by yourself, you will love it.


-Anderson Lawfer, Eric Roach

1 comment:

  1. If this review pandered to or shilled for Disney any harder, I'd swear I was reading the Tribune.