Crazy Concepts for Classic Shows: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST II

Beauty and the Beast Cover


Here’s another “crazy concept” for Beauty and the Beast – one that perhaps is not not necessarily ‘crazy’, but just unconventional. This one is from Musicals Dot Net, posted by a user known as “Jake”:

Do you guys think it’s less effective to have a different actor play the Beast and the Prince? I think if at all possible, the same guys needs to play the Prince and the Beast. What do you guys think?

I would say one might run into trouble unless a perfect match in terms of physicality and particularly voice was found. The audience would still have to believe that the Prince was the Beast and since the appearance is so different, the only way to get that is through the voice and through Belle’s reaction. (In the film, it’s wonderfully done using his eyes – a seed which was planted in a fantastic dramatic moment when Belle went into the West Wing. But that’s too subtle an effect to achieve on stage.) If a double has to be used, the place to do it would be in the final sequences is in the fight with Gaston, allowing the Prince to be played by the same actor as the Beast. I think that’s the most effective choice.

The other place where a double could/would be used is during the “Prologue” and there again, it would require a physical match between the Prince at the start and the Prince at the end.

So I agree with Jake on this one. The same actor should play both the Beast and the Prince.

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7 Responses to Crazy Concepts for Classic Shows: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST II

  1. The only time our Beast wasn’t playing himself (in both Prince or Beast form) was at the end of the Prologue. Our Beast (who was the Prince), spiraled back behind the castle gates and his double spiraled out as the Beast.

    The fight, “Transformation”, and “Finale” were all done by our true Beast. When he died, the Enchantress came onstage, worked her Disney magic, and escorted him to one of our rotating units that acted as the West Wing earlier in the show. It had an interior and a curtain/veil leading to balcony exterior. It was rotated so the balcony exterior was facing the audience and the Beast was concealed safely in the interior. Strobe lighting made his silhouette show up on the veil during the transformation. It was a really cool effect. He took off his prosthetics and Beast make-up, along with his cape. The unit rotated back around with him fully transformed. Belle walked up to him and the “Finale” began.

  2. ConverseSneaker says:

    My production had both the same person playing the Beast and the Prince. We had lots of smoke and lights and the Beast’s face was ripped off violently. It was stuck on with spirit gum!

  3. Ouch. I’ve used spirit gum before and only for a mustache. Not fun stuff. I can’t imagine what it would be like for a whole face!

  4. Amanda says:

    More importantly, why the hell do they call it “spirit gum?”

  5. Michelle Cosentino says:

    In our production we had one Beast and one Prince in the prologue, but for the transformation we cleverly switched the Beast with the Prince when his lines were finished. One line, “at least i got to see you one last time”, was pre-recorded while the double was covered and during “Home (Reprise)”, the Beast got his Prince outfit on and came back on as the Prince.

    I think it’s important (coming from the Belle point of view) because I would rather kiss the actor that I had been establishing chemistry with the entire show rather than kiss someone else. Its so much more real to me and I think it comes across that way to the audience as well. Plus the “Belle, look into my eyes” – I would much rather hear the same voice I heard in “If I Can’t Love Her” than someone new.

  6. Luc Tellier says:

    In our production, we had two different people and I don’t think that it worked out too well. The guy was the farthest thing from the Prince!

  7. cheerRcker says:

    I think you should have a body double because then it adds more magic to the scene.

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