The Walt Disney entertainment empire has cleverly (not to mention lucratively) managed to turn recycling into a sophisticated art form.
Two of its most popular recent animated films "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Lion King" were recycled into smash hit Broadway musicals (and both are still running with no end in sight), as well as crowd-pleasing national touring shows. And shortened versions of several Disney classics "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," "101 Dalmations," etc. have been included in various incarnations of Feld Entertainment's "Disney on Ice" shows.
Now, a new ice-skating edition of "Beauty and the Beast" will come to town Nov.14-18. This latest "Disney on Ice" version of the fable is scheduled for 10 performances in the Delta Center, with tickets ranging from $9.75-$25.50.
The international cast of skaters, most of whom are medalists in world and Olympics skating competitions, come from Canada, Australia, Sweden, Great Britain, Russia and the United States. Those in leading roles include Brandi-Lee Rousseau of Ontario, Canada, as Belle; Gueorgei Galoustian of Russia as Gaston; Igor Sinioutine, also from Russia, as the Beast; Martin Scully of Quebec as LeFou; and William Shanks as Belle's scatterbrained father, Maurice. Pairs skaters Jackie Soames and John Jenkins of the United Kingdom will also be featured in the show's production numbers.
Unlike the Broadway and touring stage versions of the show, in which all of the singers and dancers do their own onstage vocalizing, the "Disney on Ice" production utilizes the same basic technique for the dialogue and singing as the film prerecorded "voice-overs," with the skaters merely mouthing the words.
The same recordings were used for both the animated film and the ice show. This roster of familiar talent includes Paige O'Hara as Belle, Robby Benson as the Beast, Richard White as Gaston, Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Potts, Jerry Orbach as Lumiere, David Ogden Stiers as Cogsworth and Jesse Corti as LeFou.
The music, by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, includes one song that was left out of the original film "Human Again," performed by the pairs skaters in the tavern scene at the beginning of Act Two. The song was also added to the score of the Broadway musical.
Also, while the production's costuming closely adheres to the film and stage versions, designer Arthur Boccia and his assistants had to adapt them for skaters on the rink. Some costumes, such as Belle's signature blue-and-white frock, have been adapted almost directly from the original designs.
But skaters' costumes must be constructed so that they're both comfortable and practical. The skaters never take their skates off during a show, which means that every costume must fit over the skates. There are zippers on the arms and legs of each wardrobe piece.
In addition to normal, everyday wearing apparel for Belle, the village's residents and others the costume designers were also faced with building an extensive array of more unusual items: larger-than-life cutlery, cups, saucers, candles and clocks for the "Be Our Guest" segment.
PERFORMANCES of Disney on Ice's "Beauty and the Beast" will be 7 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 14 and 15; at 4 and 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16; at 11:30 a.m. and 3:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17; and 1:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 18. All seats are reserved. Tickets are $9.75, $13.75 and $18.75 for regular seating and $25.50 for rinkside "VIP" seating. All tickets (except VIP seats) are $5 less on opening night. There are also $3 discounts for children under 12 on Thursday evening, the Friday and Saturday matinees, and the Sunday evening performance.
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