Detractors say the fact that the Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast" is based on a Disney film mars its musical theater bona fides. Fans will say the connection only makes it more charming. Everyone else, meanwhile, will head the story's timeless lesson of looking beyond appearances and enjoy the show.
There's a reason this productionwith music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Time Rice and book by Linda Woolvertonhas grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide with almost 5,500 performances between its 1994 and 2007. Beyond its "great date-night" status, kids love the story too. And anyone not endeared by the allegorical story of moving beyond the most shallow of human emotions must, almost by definition, have a heart of stone.
Thankfully, the story is so much more. It also contains Belle's yearning for a life beyond provincial, small-town ways, the ugliness of arrogance in Gaston, and the final moment of redemption, before "the last petal falls."