Indiana Daily Student

'Beauty' opens tonight

Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" will open today at the IU Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" will open today at the IU Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” will open at 7:30 p.m. today at the IU Auditorium.

Tickets are available at $20 for students and $38 for the general public. There will be an additional performance at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The musical, based on the 1991 Disney film of the same name, tells the story of Belle and her encounter with the Beast, who is actually a prince cursed because of his selfish behavior.

The Beast has a limited time to learn how to love others, or else he must remain a hairy monster, and his servants must stay as the household objects into which they were transformed.

The stage version of “Beauty and the Beast” features all of the movie’s music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with songs added specifically for the musical.

Menken composed the music to these new songs and Tim Rice wrote the lyrics.

The show made its Broadway debut in 1994 and ran for almost 5,500 performances before closing in 2007.

Maria Talbert, associate director of the IU Auditorium, said in an email that “Beauty and the Beast” is special because it appeals to audiences of all ages.

“This production is visually stunning, deeply heartfelt, and incredibly charming,” she said. “Everyone connects so strongly with this tale because we all want to be loved for more than what is on the exterior.”

She said audiences will have a great experience, particularly if they haven’t previously seen the show on stage.

“It is a joy to watch audience members light up when they see this show for the first time,” she said. “We expect to see a similar reaction at the performances this year.”

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium lobby, attendees can take part in the second annual “Kids Night on Broadway.” Talbert said.

“Beauty and the Beast”-themed activities, including a “Chip’s Tea Cup Toss” game and a station to make enchanted roses or bookmarks, will be available.

She said participants are also encouraged to donate new or gently used books for “Belle’s Book Drive,” which benefits the Indiana South Central Community Action Head Start program.

“Beauty and the Beast” last appeared in the Auditorium during the 2009-10 season.

The current touring production brought back the original Broadway creative team, including costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, who won a Tony award in 1994 for her work in this musical.

Talbert said because the stage production was reimagined, audiences can expect to see the show in a different way this time.

“In no other show does a story spring to life like it does for ‘Beauty,’” she said. “It is visually, musically, and emotionally breathtaking.”

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