• What: "Disney's Beauty and the Beast"
• When: Noon Saturday, Sept. 21; 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 22
• Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.
• Admission: $39-$75 (plus fees)
• Phone: 423-642-8497
• Website: www.ChattanoogaOnstage.com
A new touring production of "Disney's Beauty and the Beast" invites musical lovers, classic love story fans and Disney princess devotees to "be our guest" at the Tivoli Theatre this weekend.
The production, based on the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated feature film and following in the footsteps of the subsequent Broadway musical, offers performances on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 21-22.
"It has been wonderful to bring the entire original design team back together to work on this new production," director Rob Roth says of the production on the tour website. "It is rare to have the opportunity to revisit your work 15 years later. Hopefully, I've grown and developed as an artist, along with my collaborators, and we can bring 15 years of experience to this new production.
"We have remained very close as a team over the years of producing the show around the world, and it has been so much fun getting together to re-explore and re-invent the show."
It's hard to imagine anyone who doesn't know the story of Belle, a young woman in a town where everybody minds her business instead of theirs, and the Beast, a young prince trapped in a spell placed upon him by an enchantress.
If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end, and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household - and maybe Belle - will be doomed for all eternity.
"The theme of 'Beauty' is about seeing past the exterior into the heart of someone," Roth says, "and this is reflected in the design for the show, which is about transparency and layers, seeing past one thing and into another."
The production, with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton, contains such memorable characters as Lumiére (the candelabra), Cogsworth (the clock) and Mrs. Potts (the teapot) and such songs as "Be Our Guest" and the title song.
The Tony Award-winning musical premiered in 1994, ran through 2007 and is today the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history.
Contact Clint Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6497. Subscribe to his posts online at Facebook.com/ClintCooperCTFP.