Broadway's Best

Austin Broadway season is back with the captivating story of Beauty and the Beast

Austin Broadway season is back with captivating Beauty and the Beast

Disney's Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast plays at Bass Concert Hall from October 7-12. Photo by Amy Boyle

Long before Frozen captured children’s imaginations, another classic Disney film charmed them and taught them that in spite of our differences, love can conquer all. The enchanting Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast will return to Bass Concert Hall October 7-12.

The musical about the unlikely relationship of a young woman and an awkwardly charming beast has captivated audiences since its 1994 Broadway debut. The show is visually stunning with its lavish sets and fabulous costumes used to create walking talking teacups, candles and clocks — not to mention the Beast himself.

But like most Disney creations, it’s the timeless story (based on a French fairy tale) that keeps audiences coming back. “What keeps Beauty and the Beast alive and relevant today is the universal theme of seeing through someone's exterior and into their heart,” says Ryan Everett Wood, who plays the Beast. “We all wake up every morning with some kind of insecurities that we must face and this production shows us that it's okay to face those fears and not judge someone based on appearances.”

Wood is a Texas native, raised in Katy, near Houston. He last toured with Shrek the Musical (Brick Pig/Shrek) and is enjoying playing what he calls a fascinating character. “[The Beast] starts off the show as a monstrous villain and goes through an incredible emotional journey of love and self worth in the span of the show,” explains Wood. “It is such a challenge as an actor to help carry the show and go through this enormous emotional change.”

This production, Wood says, includes a lot of new material, surprises and Disney magic and illusions. “[It’s] filled with laughs, huge Broadway numbers and touching, real moments bound to tug at your heartstrings. Walking away from this show, I guarantee you will leave with a smile!”

---

Catch Beauty and the Beast before the last rose petal falls at Bass Concert Hall, October 7-12. Tickets start at $30. Visit BroadwayinAustin.com for information on the entire 2014/2015 season.