My Favorite Musical: Beauty and the Beast


A couple days ago I saw my favorite musical, Beauty and the Beast, for the fourth time. The first time was on Broadway in 1999, the second was at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia, followed by a production at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia several years later. This time, once again, I returned to the Academy of Music. As expected, it was as brilliant and spine-chillingly good as the previous three times I’ve seen it. But let me take a minute to explain why I love this musical so much.

I’ve seen many musicals throughout my life because my parents have afforded me with the opportunity to do so. My first musical was Hello, Dolly! with Carol Channing and I’ve seen countless shows since then, including EvitaMan of La ManchaWickedAnnie, Kinky Boots, and numerous others. They’ve all been terrific, but Beauty and the Beast moves me in ways the others don’t.

Why is this the case? There’s a few reasons. First, I absolutely loved the Disney film that inspired this musical, so seeing it come to life on the stage conjures up fond memories and wraps me in a warm blanket of nostalgia. It’s also worth noting that Angela Lansbury sang the theme song for the Disney film and I’m a huge fan of hers – as a matter of fact, I met her backstage last year following a performance of Blithe Spirit – so perhaps this musical also reminds me, in a subconscious way, of my love for her work too. But most of all, every single one of the songs from this show is magnificent. None of them are stinkers. All of them are either excellent or spectacular, not something every musical can claim.

Don’t believe me? Watch the following montage from the 1994 Tony Awards, the year Beauty and the Beast debuted on Broadway:

My favorite song, by far, from the show is “If I Can’t Love Her.” It’s a spectacular ballad sung by the Beast that closes out the first act, and it’s a showstopper. Check it out:

As you can see from the photo above, I was just four rows from the stage for Beauty and the Beast this time and dead center. It was definitely the best view I’ve ever had for the show, and it was also the best production. The set design, acting and singing were all top-notch and the ticket prices were a fraction of what you’d pay to see it in New York City. It was also my girlfriend’s first time seeing the show, so it was exciting for me to see how she reacted to the musical. As I anticipated, she thought it was terrific and had a great time.

If you have the opportunity to see Beauty and the Beast, do so. Whether or not you’ve seen the Disney film is irrelevant. As long as you’re someone who enjoys a good love story and phenomenal music, you’ll leave the theater smiling from ear to ear. And I bet you’ll be singing several of the songs to yourself for days to come.


2 thoughts on “My Favorite Musical: Beauty and the Beast

  1. Helen Holdun – Palm Springs, CA – Welcome to the world of Helen Marie Roseann Milacek Holdun! I became a living, breathing, published author in April 2013 with my first non-fiction book, "It Could Be Magic... How The Music Of Barry Manilow Changed My Life And the Journey Ever Since", which is as the name implies, tells the story of my life transformation because of the inspiration found in the music of Manilow. Since then, I have published a children's book, "Baby Bear's Christmas Dream”; this one tells the story of my oldest son's first teddy bear and how he joined our family. Both books are available on Amazon and B& I’m excited and terrified (lol) to publish my first fictional romance novel, “Love Later,” in mid-2021, followed by two more that are currently a WIP! When I’m not busy with my full-time career as a Student Development Manager for international students, I’m a freelance writer, blogger, public relations rep, and always a mom. My greatest accomplishment is being the mom of three gorgeous, healthy, kind, prosperous, and delightful young adult sons. They are my world, and no matter what success I achieve in life, my most outstanding achievement is my children. They will forever be the inspiration that motivates me to be the best possible version of myself. A born and raised in New York, in 2008, via serendipity, my kids and I became a resident of glorious Palm Springs, CA. I’ve since had a dozen years of moving adventures with my youngest son. He might write his book, “Holding On With Helen.” We took breaks from the desert to explore living life in the Northern California cities of San Mateo, Sunnyvale, and Sacramento. In 2013, we ventured back to living on the East Coast in a suburb of Philadelphia, PA. It was then, despite moving back to CA so my son could finish high school with his pals, I confirmed New York City will always be my hearts real home, my happy place of bliss, inspiration, and motivation, and it is where I will relocate when the time is right. Now with my three boys on their own, a still adjusting empty-nester, I reside in Tustin, California, with a cat named Boo and Marshmallow the lizard. I’m an eclectic conglomeration of moving parts that make me who I am. Happy, intense, emotional, giddy, positive - my glass is always overflowing even if it looks empty. And I’m a forever romantic who believes happy endings can be achieved when unconditional love is based on a solid friendship. It is, I think, the only way a relationship can last. It is what was missing in the marriage I left. I’m old fashioned in my values but always open to what’s fresh and new. I have to keep learning to thrive. I never march to the beat of anyone else's drum, which can make for a lonely march sometimes! My morals and integrity are staunch, as is my faith in the power and majesty of God to whom I am deeply grateful for every beautiful moment that's been, is, and has yet to come. I hope to someday meet and marry - in a perfect fairy tale wedding - my one-true-forever love but will never settle for someone who isn't my best friend, even if it means spending life alone. As if working and writing full time wasn't enough, I’m in the process of creating a website for Independent artists of every genre, which will eventually incorporate a podcast and one day become a brick and mortar cozy bookshop in, you guessed it, New York City. I hope you have fun joining me on my journey as I live life one word at a time! Cheers, Helen
    Helen Holdun on said:

    Great article! Beauty And The Beast, any, and all versions, is also one of my favorites. Of course I love the music, and the love story. Not merely because I’m a hope-filled romantic; not because it has a happy ending. I appreciate how in its own subtle manner, the message rings loud and clear, to truly love, unconditionally, one must look deeper, beyond what the eye can see. It also reminds us, we must be true to our own hearts, and not follow the herd by falling in love with who (or what) the majority tells us is acceptable, based on the external.

    Belle saw Beast for who he truly is. She didn’t fall in love with the obvious brawn or swooning attribute of Gaston, as did so many other girls. Most of all, she didn’t settle. She fought to be where her heart guided her. Something I personally apply to my own real life!

    • Well said, Helen. I also like how Gaston represents an oppressive male that Belle overcomes by being true to herself and her feelings. As you said, she didn’t settle or become a stereotype. They handled this “battle of the genders” in a humorous and intelligent way, making the movie and the musical enjoyable for people of all ages.

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