How Disney turned a Beast into a Beaut

NETworks presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast

Photos by Matthew Murphy. To see more, click the forward arrow on the image above. 

Even on your very best day, chances are you’ve never danced with your dinnerware. Oh, you may have talked things out over a good cup of tea from time to time, but rarely with the teapot itself. You even may have warbled in your wardrobe, but with it? Ah, but perhaps you’ve never visited an enchanted castle.

Fear not. Here’s your chance, as NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast rolls into town for a return run in Denver. As usual, it’s the love of a good woman that turns a beast into his best. Then again, this timeless tale of redemption brings out the best in everyone.

Based on the traditional fairytale first published in France in the mid-18th century, Beauty and the Beast has been translated into hundreds of versions worldwide. When Walt Disney Pictures released the animated feature film in 1991, it was hailed as an instant classic with critics praising its “songs worthy of a Broadway musical.”

With two Academy Awards (Best Song and Best Original Score), Disney set out to turn that praise into reality. The transformation of evil into good is hardly the only transformation in this show. To the tune of $13 million dollars, give or take a few, the Disney folk transformed their very successful film musical into an equally successful stage musical. Linda Woolverton adapted her screenplay for the stage complete with new scenes and seven new songs. The show opened at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994, ultimately playing 5,461 performances on Broadway in 13 years.

With 580 costume pieces, 81 wigs and spectacular staging effects, people become household utensils such as teapots and wardrobes and candelabra and feather dusters and clocks right before your eyes.

Since its Broadway debut 22 years ago, more than 35 million people in 21 countries have enjoyed the eyebrow-raising effects and sleight-of-hand that are worthy of David Copperfield. Keep your eyes open for some of the sensational elements — 67 LED lights on the magic mirror, the 450-pound “star drop” curtain, the 1,700-pound West Wing set piece and the 1 ton — ONE TON — plate rail featured in “Be Our Guest.” Plus, pint-sized audience members will want to look closely at the tavern set backdrop, where, much like at its famous parks, a “Mickey” is carefully hidden in plain sight.


This article is compiled from the materials provided by the production company and an article written by Teri Downard, former Deputy Director of the DCPA’s Media Relations and Publications Department.

NETworks presents Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
June 7-12
Buell Theatre
Tickets: 303-893-4100 or BUY ONLINE

Groups: Call 303-446-4829

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Brooke Quintana as Belle and Sam Hartley as the Beast in NETworks presents”Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.” Photo by Matthew Murphy.

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