‘Disney’s Beauty and the Beast’ at Gammage brings a fairytale to life

Pitchforks: 4 out of 5

Starring: Liz Shivener, Justin Glaser, Nathaniel Hackmann, Michael Fatica, Keith Kirkwood and Merritt David Janes

Run Dates: Oct. 19 – Oct. 24

In 1991, Walt Disney Pictures released a film that changed many of our childhoods. For many students at ASU, “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” has been around for most of their lives, and the story continues to bring joy to new generations with new DVD releases and the musical that has been running since 1994.

This week, the familiar love story has come to life at ASU Gammage. Seeing the characters in real life on stage singing all of the classic songs — and even a few new ones — is great for people of every age, especially when you grew up with the movie.

Not only will the musical spark the wonder and awe of your inner-child, but the production is quite spectacular.

The sets are absolutely gorgeous, the actors are spot-on and the music and costumes complete the story. There are 580 costume pieces used in the production, according to a press release, and each is a masterpiece. The exquisiteness and imagination of the costumes can be seen in many songs, but one that will leave every single person in admiration is “Be Our Guest.”

It’s not every day that you get to see dancing salt and pepper shakers, singing candelabras and flirty feather dusters. The audience gets to experience the wonderment of the enchanted objects dancing and singing just like Belle (Liz Shivener) does, and the end result is surely a showstopper — especially for the youngest fans in the audience.

Throughout the entire show, the most enjoyable characters are, hands-down, Cogsworth (Keith Kirkwood) and Lumiere (Merritt David Janes). The way these two play off of one another is comedic genius. Cogsworth’s submissive attitude toward everything that the Beast (Justin Glaser) wants couples perfectly with Lumiere’s humorous antics.

Lefou (Michael Fatica), Gaston’s loyal sidekick, and the “silly girls” who are always fawning over Gaston (Nathaniel Hackmann) round out the production’s funny side with good old-fashioned slapstick comedy.

The show is also very endearing. Of course everyone roots for the heroine, Belle, to be appreciated and to find her way to her happiness with the Beast. We all know how the story ends, but that doesn’t diminish how charming it is to see Belle and the Beast fall in love. Watching the pair dance, in the infamous yellow ball gown and blue suit, to Mrs. Potts’s (Sabina Petra) “Beauty and the Beast” is beautiful.

When watching the enchanted objects root for their master and their own future, you just can’t help but want the pair to work out in the end. Thank goodness it’s a Disney production, and they get their happily ever after.

Supporters and admirers of the show have until Sunday to go and see the magic brought to life, and you won’t be disappointed. Tickets can be purchased online at www.asugammage.com, over the phone by calling 1-800-982-ARTS (2787) or in person by visiting the ASU Gammage box office.

For more coverage of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” at ASU Gammage, check out SPM at statepressmagazine.com.

Reach the reporter at mmattox@asu.edu

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