The Beauty and the Beast musical was first performed in 1994 and has since grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide. It follows the original Disney film, but with additional music. (Sonya Johnson)

By Michael Emerson

In an unsurprisingly magnificent performance that captured both the spirit of the original movie as well as creating its own identity in the style of a musical, the theatrical production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at Eastern’s Center for the Arts Sunday was one that was both memorable and fun to enjoy.

The show follows the Disney classic to a tee, along with its own well-placed songs and moments that create a unique experience for the audience to enjoy. A standout scene would be the song featuring the story’s villain Gaston and his sidekick Lefou, which was the most entertaining and well-choreographed musical number.

The show had an amazing cast. Not only was the play itself a great show, but the atmosphere of the Center for the Arts was unforgettable. The energy presented by the attendees, both young and old, made you keep a smile on your face no matter what happened.

If anything negative must be said about the production, it’s that a few of the songs featured throughout the show are seemingly unnecessary to the plot and break or ruin fluidity of each scene. One scene in particular, right after the climax where Beast is sitting in Belle’s arms bleeding to death, the actress feels the need to sing a song about her emotions at the moment. This song was less than 20 seconds and in general had no place in the scene other than communicating the obvious to the audience.

Other “new” songs seem to pad out the play, which can be annoying when your favorite parts are being held up for it. Other than that, the play hits several high notes. both literally and figuratively, and the good most certainly outweighs the bad.

To call this a masterpiece is an understatement. The time and money spent are worth it because it is truly a classic in its own right. People of all ages can and will enjoy this spectacle of sound and imagery. From the goofy antics of the supporting cast to the dramatic love story that unfolds, the theatrical production Disney’s Beauty and the Beast gets a definite thumbs up.