Beauty and the Beast | Chicago Shakespeare Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Beauty and the Beast Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Aug. 26 2012

As staged for Chicago Shakespeare Theater by Rachel Rockwell, this abbreviated-for-kids version of the Disney musical is nearly perfect. Rockwell's A-list ensemble is flawless, Theresa Hamm's costumes are gorgeous, Scott Davis's set design is inventive and surprising, and the score by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, and Tim Rice is impeccably executed. William Travis Taylor is alternately frightening and touching as the beast, while Emily Rohm is charming as Belle, the young woman whose love saves him. David Lively, Mary Ernster, and Bernie Yvon make a great comic trio as the enchanted household items that move the story forward. If there's a problem, it's buried in the Disney DNA. Like every product from the house that Walt built, this show feels overproduced—planned and polished and polished again within an inch of its artistic life. But then, that’s what makes Disney Disney. —Jack Helbig

Price: $18-$25


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