Disney Cruise Line has debuted a new production of “Beauty and the Beast” onboard the Disney Dream, inspired by the recent live-action adaptation of the animated film.
“Beauty and the Beast” is hosted in the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre. Drawing inspiration from the live-action film, the stage musical uses the scenic motif of a music box to guide spectators through the story. Set designer Jason Sherwood (“Paint Your Wagon,” “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular”), worked in concert with video designer Aaron Rhyne (“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” Broadway’s “Anastasia”) to create a transforming set that takes audiences on a magical journey through the music box, from Belle’s provincial French town to the Beast’s mysterious castle.
To bring “Beauty and the Beast” to the stage, Disney assembled a creative team led by director and choreographer Connor Gallagher (“Tangled: The Musical,” “Found”). Gallagher collaborated with writer Sara Wordsworth (“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” Broadway’s “In Transit”) and a collection of Broadway artists to create a new approach to the story. Complementing the immersive set, lighting design was helmed by four-time Tony Award-nominated Japhy Weideman.
“Beauty and the Beast” includes songs from the original animated film’s award-winning soundtrack by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman. Complementing the score, the show also includes two of the new songs created for the live-action film by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, “How Does a Moment Last Forever” and “Days in the Sun.” Additional arrangements and orchestrations are by Matt Castle and Frank Galgano (“Into the Woods”).
Songs like “Belle,” “Something There” and “Beauty and the Beast” received a musical makeover that reflects the show’s stylized approach, while songs like “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest” are exuberant production numbers. “Be Our Guest” has been completely reimagined as a multi-course French dinner rooted in imagination and fantasy, Disney said.
Blurring the line between costuming and puppetry, costume designer Sarah Cubbage (Broadway’s “Skylight”) and puppet designer Jeff Conover joined forces to give life to the enchanted objects of “Beauty and the Beast.” Characters like Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth are realized using puppetry and elaborate costumes to bring these characters to life in their true scale.
“Beauty and the Beast” debuted during the Disney Dream voyage departing November 6, joining a lineup of Broadway-style stage productions aboard the ship, including “The Golden Mickeys” and “Disney’s Believe.” The Disney Dream sails three- and four-night cruises to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, FL.