The tale as old as time is coming to an area stage for two nights.
NETworks will present Disney's "Beauty and the Beast" on the Eisenhower Auditorium stage Tuesday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, Feb. 26.
A new production of Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," which began on Broadway in 1994 and closed in 2007, is back with this tour, reuniting the original team who brought it to the Great White Way, including director Rob Roth and choreographer Matt West.
photo courtesy of Amy Boyle Photography
Darick Pead plays the Beast and Hilary Maiberger appears as Belle in the national touring production of “Beauty and the Beast.”
This time around the show is "much more suggestive. It's more surreal. It's more storybook," actor James May said.
"Most of the action takes place in the castle but there's not a single brick in our set," he said. "There's nothing literal, stereotypical, that looks like castle, but we have these big sweeping backdrops that look like a large window that might be in the side of a castle and we have staircases that move around and we have gargoyles moving those set pieces around, and hanging curtains moving across the stage. You absolutely understand where you are without ever having precipices and towers and gates, ... the typical castle stuff."
May, who plays Cogsworth, recently talked to the Mirror from Amarillo, Texas, while on tour. He'll have reached close to 700 performances as the loveable know-it-all servant magically turned into a clock when he gets to State College, he said.
If you go
What: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25 and Wednesday, Feb. 26
Where: Eisenhower Auditorium, Penn State University Park campus
Tickets: $62, $53, adults; $44, $35, University Park student; and $45, $36, 18 and younger.
"The show is orchestrated so that there's something in the show for everyone," he said.
May's other favorite works, such as "Edward Scissorhands" and "Bat Boy: The Musical," hold a similar theme as "Beauty and the Beast."
"The story itself and the concept itself is something that I have always loved. ... I grew up loving the movie so it's really magical and important and life-giving to me that I get to be a part of telling this story, and it's kind of surreal too that I've known these characters and this story so well my whole life and now I'm in it. In fact, literally, last night I had a moment of like, 'Oh, I'm actually in this story.' It's cool," he said.
The show is the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State's first Disney musical, CPA Director of Marketing Laura Sullivan said in an email.
"The Center for the Performing Arts presents touring Broadway musicals at Eisenhower Auditorium every performance season and what we are able to present depends upon what is available to us, what we think our audiences will want to see and which tours are being routed this direction," she wrote. "Broadway performances are by far the most consistently popular events that we present at the Center."
This show is proving to be no exception.
"We have had a great response so far from families in the region and from University students who can remember when 'Beauty and the Beast' entered the movie scene in the very early 1990s," she wrote.
"The touring Broadway production is a spectacular event that brings Disney's film magic to life. Beautiful costumes, and sets, outstanding special effects and more can be expected with the production. 'Beauty and the Beast' is a family classic."
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.