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Beauty and the Beast Shines at the Academy of Music

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Image by Matthew Murphy, c/o the Kimmel Center

When picturing the year 1991, hair scrunchies, baggy overalls, and crop tops usually come to mind. We tend to forget that it was also the year Disney released their animated version of Beauty and the Beast! The film immediately became a smash hit and it’s impressive musical score earned two Academy Awards, two Golden Globes, and three Grammys! By this point it was pretty obvious that it just HAD to become a Broadway musical, and that’s exactly what happened in 1994. Since it’s opening 21 years ago, it has become the ninth longest running musical in Broadway history, reaching over 35 million people around the globe. Luckily, the show makes its way to the Kimmel Center right here in Philadelphia for this week only!

Rob Roth has really outdone himself in his direction of Beauty and the Beast, and his efforts help to prove why the show has remained a hit for so long. The performance flows seamlessly, and the performers’ chemistry is undeniable. When pairing the incredible stage design with the outstanding music, your Disney princess dreams truly come to life.

The story follows Belle, a young woman who feels she doesn’t fit in with the others in her town, and the Beast; a young prince trapped in a beastly form, under a curse due to his cruelness and vanity. It is up to true love to break the spell that will save him and the others affected inside his castle. Brooke Quintana and Sam Hartley play the parts of Belle and the Beast with utter perfection.

Watching the film as a child, the real-life comparisons and undertones of the story can easily be missed. While re-watching it as an adult, especially in live action, you really catch on to the underlying issues of bullying, stereotypes, and accepting yourself for who you are.

But it isn’t all about the serious stuff! The comic relief throughout the show is absolutely hysterical. The castle’s resident candlestick, Lumiere, was more like a French stick of dynamite! Supported by the ensemble cast,Ryan N. Phillips’ performance of the classic “Be Our Guest” was nothing short of sensational. The macho Gaston, played by Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek, was also a crowd favorite and his character was completely over the top. There is also an intense dance number featuring beer mugs that you just have to see to believe!

Filled with laughs, amazing vocals, extraordinary choreography, and the perfect magical Disney ending, this is a classic theatrical event. It’s perfect for all ages and really shouldn’t be missed! There is still time to catch the show at the Academy of Music during the dates below:

February 18, 2016, 7:30 p.m.
February 19, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
February 20, 2016, 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
February 21, 2016, 1:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $26.50, and can be purchased via phone at (215) 893-1999, online at www.kimmelcenter.org, or in person at the Kimmel Center Box Office on South Broad Street.

Tag Philly PR Girl online after the show and let us know what your favorite scene was! Don’t forget to tag the Kimmel Center as well and use the hashtag #BWYPHL!