‘Beauty and the Beast’ begins date with Delhi

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (IANS) A preview of “Beauty and the Beast”, Disney India’s first attempt at bringing a live musical Broadway show to the city, enthralled a mostly packed house of adults, whose inner child came alive upon seeing the almost magical representation of their once-loved fantasy tale.

After making an impressive debut in Mumbai where as many as 27,000 people watched it, 12 shows of the musical are being staged at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex until December 27.

The preview, held on Friday night for the VIP crowd, saw a melange of colours, music, dance performances and live acting, which left viewers with an appetite for more musical Broadway shows here.

The timeless classic was brought to life by Edwin Joseph (Beast) and Meher Mistry (Belle) — the lead performers — as well as each supporting cast member apart from the innovative use of props.

A huge team worked behind-the-scenes — Vikranth Pawar (Show Director and Creative Head, Live Entertainment at Disney India), Lesle Lewis (Music Direction), Terence Lewis (Choreographer), Varsha Jain (Set Designer), Gavin Miguel (Costume Designer), Pallavi Devika (Hair and Make-up) and Suzanne D’Mello (Vocal Training) — to make the fantasy world a reality on stage.

The 130-minute long show was enjoyed by many parents, children and individuals, but most of the audience consisted of elders who might have a special memory attached to the “Beauty and the Beast” narrative.

The cobbled streets, realistic and elaborate sets using advanced 3D technology, infused life into Belle’s village.

The balcony sequence where the Beast takes Belle out for dinner with twinkling stars and gentle breeze enchanted the starry-eyed audience.

With Belle and Beast possessing impressive vocals, the audience applauded every dance sequence, especially when the cutlery in Beast’s “enchanted” castle performs for Belle.

The transition of one sequence to another — be it Belle’s village or the scary dark forest or the cursed castle, was smooth and flawless.

Even the instructions for putting off our mobile phones and cameras, was made in an innovative style, through the characters Cogsworth and Lumiere who conveyed it in a comical style.

The synchronisation, the costumes of all artists, the happy spoon or be it the protagonists — the “Beauty and the Beast” show lives upto the whims and fancies of all those children from the 1990s who could only wonder if they would get to see such an extravaganza live in the country or not.

Its not something one should compare with the West as it is a fairly new concept in India, but nonetheless, given the space, it is a brilliant act for a first time here.

“Beauty and the Beast” is the story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

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