Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre invites patrons to experience a “tale as old as time” as it presents the modern Disney classic “Beauty and the Beast,” June 14 – July 1. The production features lavish scenic design, spectacular effects, and “a touch of Disney magic,” says director Gary John La Rosa. The show also features Alan Menken’s beloved musical score — and a timeless tale of love and redemption.
“It’s a story about finding love and finding home,” La Rosa says. “It’s about two people who feel like outcasts finding each other, finding a way to communicate, and learning to love each other.”
La Rosa’s directing credits include Broadway, Off-Broadway, and prominent regional productions; he makes his Summer Music Theatre debut with this beloved family musical.
“We have gone to great lengths to make the show as beautiful, magical, and exciting as it can be,” he says. “We’ve incorporated a professional illusionist and pushed the limits from our scenic and lighting departments, and I think audiences will be surprised at what they see onstage and how truly beautiful and magical it is.”
“Beauty and the Beast” broke barriers in 1991, becoming the first animated feature nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Disney brought it to Broadway in 1994, where it ran for more than 5000 performances over 13 years. Since then, the stage version has traveled the world, playing in more than 30 countries, to audiences of more than 50 million.
The show tells the familiar story of Belle, a beautiful, bookish young woman from a small, provincial village, and the Beast, a vain young prince trapped under a spell. Can they break the curse in time, or are the Beast and his enchanted household forever doomed?