It may be a "tale as old as time," but the message of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" is both ageless and timeless.
Though the current touring production may be less of a spectacle than its predecessors, the scaled-down reimagining maintains the story's charming essence and fairy-tale magic. Belle and the Beast fall in love to the delight of beaming children of all ages who leave the theater with a nice reminder that beauty is found within.
If you've never seen the original, you probably won't even miss the sparkle and glitz in this "Beauty." It's still bright, colorful and brimming with Disney magic. "Be Our Guest" is a big hit with the crowd and streamers shoot out into the audience, eliciting oohs and ahhs aplenty.
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Much of what makes this production work is the tireless effort of the talented ensemble. Emily Behny is delightful as Belle and breathtakingly beautiful during the show's lump-in-your-throat "Beauty and the Beast." And Dane Agostinis captures both the ferocity and heart of the Beast but is at his best during "If I Can't Love Her." Even without the benefit of a grand set, Agostinis creates a touching, memorable moment.
Matt Farcher and Jimmy Larkin get plenty of laughs as Gaston and Lefou, respectively, but the slapstick gets old quickly. Farcher's buffoonery, on the other hand, is delightful.
The servants in the palace are delightful and the entire cast delivers both the choreography and the joy of the show's big production numbers.
The show provides a happily-ever-after end that keeps you singing after the curtain falls.
If you go
'Disney's Beauty and the Beast'
Boston Opera House
539 Washington St., Boston