The Tale as old as Time, is new again (twice)

Back in January, my wife and I went to see Beauty and the Beast in 3D, part of a trend of older movies getting the 3D treatment we’ve been treated to this year.  While I enjoyed the experience, I think I mostly just enjoyed seeing Beauty and the Beast in theaters again, the 3D was just so-so.  It reminded me a lot of pop up books, each layer was flat and it was just a bunch of layers stacked on top of each other to give the 3D effect.

Beauty and the BeastThe Saturday before last however, I went to the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts to see the travelling company of the Broadway Beauty and the Beast Play.  The play was good overall.  I like what they did to explain the characters appearing more “human.”  In order to excuse the fact that the characters are played by humans instead of animated candlesticks and teapots, is changed the story slightly so that the change from human to inanimate object is a gradual one.  A short time into the play the winder appeared on the back of Cogsworth, where previously he didn’t have it.

Not only did this excuse the human appearances, but it also had the advantage of increasing the urgency of the situation in the story.  The implication is that eventually they will be completely inanimate, unable to move or speak, making the breaking of the spell that much more important to the characters.

The productions of the songs from the movie were excellent in the play, especially “Be our Guest,” “Gaston,” and the title song “Beauty and the Beast.”  The song added to the play that was cut from the original movie (“Human Again”) was likewise excellent, however they also added many additional songs, presumably to lengthen the play, and not a single one of the additional songs was any good (in my not humble opinion).  They were dull, and a times made me so bored I found myself wondering if the song would ever end so we could get back to the dialog (not what you are supposed to be wondering when watching a musical).

Overall I really enjoyed seeing Beauty and the Beast the musical, and I’m looking forward to catching Mary Poppins when it comes to town in late May.