Wednesday, January 28, 2015


Hilary Maiberger as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast The Broadway Musical.
[Photo by Kris Rocha]
Ovation Productions announced that the ongoing Manila presentation of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at the Main Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines has been extended by another week from Feb. 1 to Feb. 8 for the benefit of musical theater fans who failed to watch it during its first few weeks of regular run.

In its announcement, the production outfit said it has decided to extend the schedule of its maiden musical theater production project with Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks and Broadway Entertainment Group to accommodate thousands of fans who skipped the initial play dates of the hit Broadway musical that coincided with the recent apostolic and state fcf to the country of Pope Francis.

The new, revised schedule marks the second extension of the musical event – the first,  from Jan. 25 to Feb. 1 following the last-minute cancellation and adjustment of  play dates that fell on the same period as some official activities that highlighted the papal visit from Jan. 9-15.

Since it premiered on Jan. 9  before a rapturous audience that packed the CCP Main Theater, the Manila leg  of the first-ever international tour of  “Beauty and the Beast” has been treating thousands to evening after magical evening of wonderful songs and music, spectacular production, fabulous costumes and excellent acting that blend together in bringing to life the beautiful story of love and transformation behind one of the most-loved fairy tales of all time.

A classic fairy tale from 18th century France,  “Beauty and the Beast”  revolves around 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.

The story goes that if the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self.  But if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed forever.

At the centerpiece of the  musical is Hilary Maiberger as Belle, who is out to charm theater-goers with her portrayal of the independent and smart but vulnerable beauty of the fairy tale, as she pours her heart out into each song in her lusciously rich voice, pure in tone and smoothly emotive.

She is perfectly paired with Darick Pead,  who acts convincingly as the prince imprisoned in the body of the Beast, whose costume he dons with style as he goes roaring and growling while he stalks and leaps about the stage.

Gaston played by Adam Dietlein and sidekick Lefou played by Jordan Aragon
with the ensemble of Beauty and the Beast The Musical. [Photo by Kris Rocha]
They are supported by a strong cast of actors  recognized for their gorgeous voices and a natural, breezy stage presence, namely, Hassan Nazari-Robati (Lumiere, the candlestick), James May (Cogsworth, the clock), Adam Dietlein (Gaston), Emily Mattheson (Mrs. Potts), Paul Crane (Maurice, Belle’s father), Jordan Aragon (Lefou, Gaston’s sidekick) and Charlie Jones and William Poon (the kids who alternate as Mrs. Potts child,  Chip).

The international touring production is directed by Rob Roth -- who received a Tony Award nomination for his Broadway directorial debut with the musical -- and choreographed by Matt West.  Completing the original Broadway creative team in the tour are Tony Award-winning Ann Hould-Ward, costume design; Natasha Katz, lighting design;  Stanley A. Meyer, scenic design; John Petrafesa, Jr., sound design; and Michael Kosarin, music supervision.

 The  stage production boasts of the music of Alan Menken (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”, “Tangled”), with lyrics written by the late Howard Ashman (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin”),  additional songs with music by Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice (“The Lion King,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”).

The book is written by Linda Woolverton (screen writer of “The Lion King,” “Alice In Wonderland” and the upcoming “The Maleficent”).

Based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film of the same title,  Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” premiered on Broadway in 1994 and was nominated for nine prestigious Tony Awards and ran for 13 years. It ranks as one of the longest-running and highest-grossing Broadway shows of all time.
The Manila presentation of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” runs until Feb. 8

(Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is being staged at the CCP Main Theater until Feb. 7at 8 pm, with matinees at 2 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.  It is presented by Disney Theatrical Productions, Inc., NETworks,  Broadway Entertainment Group, MKFAE and Ovation Production. It is made possible by  Globe Business, Visa, Philippine Star,  Fox International Channels and Diamond Hotel .  Among its media partners are  Philippine Daily Inquirer, Manila Bulletin and BusinessWorld. Other supporters include Working Mom, Metro Society, Metro Magazine, Chalk Magazine, Philippine Entertainment Portals (PEP), Click The City, Crossover 101.5,, When In Manila, ABS-CBN, Total Girl,, Retro 105.9, MYX, Rappler and  Monster Radio RX 93.1.    Tickets are priced at P7,895, P6,845, P5,790, P4,740, P4,210, P3,160 and P2,105, plus applicable service charges and are available at Ticketworld outlets (891-9999) and online at, and

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