(courtesy of philstar.com): ‘Beauty and the Beast’ opens on Jan. 9 at CCP

‘Beauty and the Beast’ opens on Jan. 9 at CCP

MANILA, Philippines – Beauty and the Beast, one of the most successful Broadway musicals of all time, opens on Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) in Pasay City.

The show is a delightful and inspiring tale of love and transformation that offers an awesome and unforgettable experience in musical entertainment.

Sharing this experience are fans from nine other countries in Europe and Asia being visited by the musical act’s international tour in celebration of its 20th anniversary onstage: Istanbul (Turkey), Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), Thessalonik (Greece), Trieste (Italy) and Milan (Italy), Bangkok (Thailand), Singapore, Jakarta (Indonesia), Kazakhstan and Macau, marking the first time it will be seen in these areas.

Presenting the musical are Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks and Broadway Entertainment Group, which have tapped Ovation Productions as its partner in mounting the original Broadway spectacular in Manila as part of its 10-country first-ever international tour.

Liz Coops, producer for Broadway Entertainment Group, says, “The Philippines is today’s premier Asian market in theater production. That’s why our team has decided to make Manila the first stop in the Asian leg of the international tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

Renen de Guia of Ovation Productions, which is observing its 35th anniversary in music and entertainment promotion, thanked Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks and Broadway Entertainment Group for their trust and confidence in Ovation’s capability to mount the production.

A classic fairy tale from 18th century France,Beauty and the Beast revolves around Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. The story goes that if the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self.  But if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed forever.

The main female character in the musical is played by Hilary Maiberger, who is out to win theater-goers with her portrayal of Belle, the independent and smart but vulnerable beauty of the fairy tale, as she pours her heart out into each song in her lusciously rich voice, pure in tone and smoothly emotive.

She is perfectly paired with Darick Pead, who acts convincingly the role of the prince imprisoned in the body of the Beast, whose costume he dons with style as he goes roaring and growling while he stalks and leaps about the stage.

They are supported by a strong cast of actors noted for their gorgeous voices and a natural, breezy stage presence, namely, Hassan Nazari-Robati (Lumiere, the candlestick), James May (Cogsworth, the clock), Alan Dietlein (Gaston), Emily Mattheson (Mrs. Potts), Paul Crane (Maurice, Belle’s father), Jordan Aragon (Lefou, Gaston’s sidekick) and Charlie Jones and William Poon (the kids who alternate as Mrs. Potts child,  Chip).

The international touring production is directed by Rob Roth — who received a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway directorial debut with the musical — and choreographed by Matt West.  Completing the original Broadway creative team on the tour are Tony Award-winning Ann Hould-Ward, costume design; Natasha Katz, lighting design;  Stanley A. Meyer, scenic design; John Petrafesa, Jr., sound design; and Michael Kosarin, music supervision.

 The stage production boasts the music of Alan Menken (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Tangled), with lyrics written by the late Howard Ashman (The Little Mermaid, Aladdin), additional songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice (The Lion King, Jesus Christ Superstar).

The book is written by Linda Woolverton (screen writer of The Lion King, Alice In Wonderland and The Maleficent).

Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film of the same title, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway in 1994 and was nominated for nine prestigious Tony Awards and ran for 13 years. It ranks as one of the longest-running and highest-grossing Broadway shows of all time.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be staged at the CCP Main Theater from Jan. 9 to 25, at 8 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It is presented by Disney Theatrical Productions Inc., NETworks, Broadway Entertainment Group, MKFAE and Ovation Production. It is made possible by Globe Business, Visa, The Philippine STAR,  Fox International Channels and Diamond Hotel.

Tickets are priced at P7,895, P6,845, P5,790, P4,740, P4,210, P3,160 and P2,105, plus applicable service charges, and are available at Ticketworld outlets (891-9999) and online at www.ticketworld.com.ph, beautyandthebeast.com.ph and Facebook.com/beautyandbeastph.


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