Guests traveling aboard the Disney Dream last week were treated to Disney Cruise Line’s inaugural live performance of a new telling of the classic story, “Beauty and the Beast.”
The all-new production was inspired by Disney’s live-action stage show, which in turn is based on the animated classic film. The performance combines favorite elements from both productions into a unique, only-at-sea production that can only be seen in the 1,340-seat Walt Disney Theatre onboard the Dream.
As with previous productions, the new stage show celebrates romance, adventure and magic in true Disney fashion, while underscoring the “power of transformation through true love and courage.”
And yes, the performance brings to life many of the Disney classic’s favorite tunes, including some from the original award-winning soundtrack by acclaimed composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman. Also in the lineup are two of the new songs created by Menken and lyricist Tim Rice, for the live-action film, including “How Does a Moment Last Forever” and “Days in the Sun.”
Some favorite songs, such as “Belle,” “Something There” and “Beauty and the Beast” have received a musical makeover for their at-sea debut, while showstoppers like “Gaston” and “Be Our Guest” are being transformed into full-fledged spectacles. In particular, “Be Our Guest,” designed as a multi-course French dinner, promises rousing choreography and dazzling visual effects.
The set, designed by Jason Sherwood (“Paint Your Wagon,” “Frozen, A Musical Spectacular”) and Aaron Rhyne (“Frozen, A Musical Spectacular,” Broadway’s “Anastasia”), was created to emulate a music box, through which passengers can enjoy such iconic settings as Belle’s provincial French town and the Beast’s mysterious castle.
Adding an extra dimension to the production, costume designer Sarah Cubbage (Broadway’s “Skylight”) worked with puppet designer Jeff Conover to bring to life the enchanted characters for which “Beauty and the Beast" is known. Such favorites as Lumiere, Mrs. Potts and Cogsworth are all depicted through innovative puppetry and elaborate costumes.
“Beauty and the Beast” first debuted last week during the Disney Dream voyage that set sail from Port Canaveral, Florida on Nov. 6, 2017. It joins other onboard Broadway-stage productions such as “The Golden Mickeys” and “Disney’s Believe.”
Disney is also set to debut “Beauty and the Beast” voyages onboard AmaWaterways’ AmaKristina next year, in partnership with Adventures by Disney. Although there will be no live-action show, the 8-day, 7-night cruises will include stops at Beauty and the Beast-inspired locations in France, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands.