Posted at 4:17 pm on July 13, 2012 by Farrah
I first saw Disney’s movie Beauty and the Beast in theaters when it was first released in 1991. That means that I have been OBSESSED (just ask my Hubby and my friends) with this movie/story for more than 20years! I have seen it in an IMAX theater, 3D, at least 5 times when it was first released. And as for the stage play based on the Disney classic, I have seen that probably 7-8 times in 3 different cities and different styles of theater (see, obsessed!!). So when I learned that Chicago Shakespeare Theater was doing Beauty and the Beast as their annual family production, I was JUST A LITTLE excited! And I was in no way disappointed.
The show is, simply put, FABULOUS! To pull off this show with a cast of only 15 is incredible considering there are a couple bigger numbers (“Be Our Guest”, opening scene, “Gaston” bar song) that are very involved and meant to be grand. But this cast and their director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell made these songs fill the theater and had the entire audience entranced. You can’t see them, but there is a live orchestra accompanying this show and the music fills this courtyard style theater in a way that makes you feel as if YOU are on stage in the middle of it all.
The show runs 70minutes without an intermission. But this was no problem for my 6 and almost4 yr olds. They were locked into every song and movement on the stage from the first minute to the last. They, of course, know this story well since their mom has made sure of it. But to see it unfold right in front of their eyes was a truly magical experience. My older son went with Hubby and I to the Oriental Theater to see the show last year. And he enjoyed this performance much more because he felt closer to the action and more involved in the story. This style of theater makes for such an interactive, enchanting way for little kids to be exposed to live theater.
I know I may be a bit biased, but I can’t tell you enough times how much I recommend this show. It was maybe the best I have seen it done, especially for the kids. And coming from a self-proclaimed Beauty and the Beast enthusiast, I think that is pretty high praise. Don’t miss this show! Seriously.
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be playing at the CST on Navy Pier unti August 26th. Tickets are $18-25 with special discount available for groups of 10 or more. You get a %40 discount on parking too when you attend this show. For more information, you can contact the CST box office at 312-595-5600 or www.chicagoshakes.com.