Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Broadway Across Canada) at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver
Who doesn’t like a fairy tale with a happy ending? Anybody who has ever read The Beauty and The Beast, the traditional fairy tale, knows more or less the gist of what it’s about. And the Broadway Across Canada production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver from February 8th through 12th is a really nice reminder of the power of love (and the beauty of musical theatre).
The version you will witness (and I do recommend you check it out) is the adaptation to musical theatre of the Disney movie. With a Dane Agostinis (Beast) who with all his vocal and histrionic talent shines in a couple of pieces but is mostly, in my opinion, underused, and an Emily Behny (Belle) who begins somewhat tentative and then simply gets out of her shell and belts out her songs with a potent voice and much gusto, Beauty and the Beast manages to survive an early shaky and somewhat stale start to produce a very fine piece of musical art.
My main complaint was a start that was somewhat uncommon in most of the previous Broadway Across Canada shows I have ever seen. In other shows by Broadway Across Canada, I always witness a powerful, thunderous and sometimes even strident first number that energizes the audience and sets the stage for a very enjoyable musical. In this rendition of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, I saw a preliminary stage-setting number that had a couple of prop moments that I did not like (particularly the way the wolves and the enchantress were executed).
Any minor issues with scenography were erased as the musical went on. Logan Denninghoff is charming as Gaston, and at points, I wished he weren’t the antagonist of the show. He could very well make a gorgeous prince, and I’m sure he could also make an interesting Beast. The rest of the cast rounds up a very talented bunch of individuals who showcase histrionic talent coupled with powerful voices.
My favorite acts included Gaston (joyful and engaging), Be Our Guest (which was by and large, the best number of the show) and the first and last Beauty and the Beast numbers. The Mob Song was well executed, but having witnessed Be Our Guest I just simply couldn’t see something that could have made me jump in my seat more. The cast’s execution of Something There, A Change in Me and If I Can’t Love Her were enough to tug at my heart’s strings and make me shed a few tears.
While I found the early stages of the First Act somewhat flat, once the Gaston number was over, my energy was on high levels and I found myself enraptured in the show. The Second Act, definitely redeems the full show in demonstrating with great voices and beautiful numbers and musical scores that love can in fact, conquer all. A definite must-see, which I’m sure will only improve as time goes by. I always enjoy Broadway Across Canada shows, and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was definitely delightful.
Disclosure: I attended opening night of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast thanks to media tickets. I am neither paid for, nor expected to write a review. As always, I retain full editorial control of anything published on my site, and can be contacted via my Contact Form if you have any questions or comments.
- Broadway Across Canada presents Beauty and the Beast in Vancouver
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- Legally Blonde (The Musical) in Vancouver – Broadway Across Canada 2011