OK, I confess.
I am a bit prejudiced against this play. It is definitely not one of my favorites and one that I have seen (at least) once too often. While I usually anticipate going to the theater, I spent days actually dreading this one. I considered giving the tickets away, but in the end my friend convinced me to give it a try.
After sitting through it yet again, I have come to the conclusion that it is not such a bad play....
IF YOU ARE ELEVEN YEARS OLD!
The kids in the audience loved the show and why not? It is a special night out, possibly their first theater experience, and a live action version of a favorite cartoon.
But for adults, there just isn't much here. Aside from "Be Our Guest" and the title song, this is a largely forgettable score. The sets and effects were good and actually overpowered the performances. While Belle sang well in the higher range, she missed several of the lower notes. The other players turned in adequate performances, offering no threat to Angela Lansbury.
Let us hope that it will be a long, long time before this beastly show plays Peoria again.