The enchanting, timeless tale of Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast The Musical' will soon head to Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre.
Based on the beloved 1991 film, which was the first animated feature ever nominated for Best Picture at The Oscars, the stage show opened on Broadway in 1994, garnering nine Tony Award nominations, and winning one.
It's a story about the importance of family, the beauty that lies within people, and the power in being true to yourself.
The Australian history of the show began with the opening in 1995 in Melbourne, where Rachel Beck played Belle, Michael Cormick played Beast, a young Hugh Jackman as Gaston, and the late Bert Newton as Cogsworth. It played for more than two years across Melbourne and Sydney, picking up the 1996 ARIA Award for Best Australian Soundtrack/Cast/Show Release.
This new production retains the lush, period sound of the score, with music from Alan Menkin and lyrics from Howard Ashman and Tim Rice.
Shubshri Kandiah plays Belle, Brendan Xavier plays Beast, and Jackson Head plays Gaston.
But what's 'Beauty And The Beast' without the lively members of the Beast's castle – the talking household objects?
Here, in the spirit of the musical's iconic number 'Be Our Guest', Rohan Browne – who plays the candelabra Lumiere – lists five enchanting places to feast with friends in Melbourne.
OneSan Telmo – The most incredible cuts of meat in Melbourne cooked to perfection on a huge imported Argentinian coal grill. The fried broccoli is a highlight. Chorizo is mouth-wateringly good. Superb wine list. And we always finish with the alfajors – it helps a little when you know the owners!
Image © Daniel Boud
TwoThe stalwart of the Melbourne food scene – Pellegrini's – this is a great restaurant for in-between show carb loading. Need a quick bite before the show? Come for the comfort food and talk to the ever effervescent staff. The watermelon granita is delicious – and here’s a little tip – I go for the secret dish NOT on the wooden menu board hanging precariously above the guests. They call it 'Spaghetti Saltata'. Tell them Rohan sent you!
ThreeHands-down the best Indian I’ve ever eaten – Horn Please. The food is traditional with a modern twist and the restaurant's aesthetics are a sight to behold. And like the banquet Belle feasts on in the show-stopping extravaganza 'Be Our Guest', I recommend the $50 chef’s choice all-you-can-eat. I frequent here with a buddy, A LOT!
FourNot really a place but a dear friend who’s been a chef at The Greville Bistro, Chin Chin, Kong, Baby et al. So I go wherever he’s at; Brian Gillespie – currently Head Chef at Dr. Morse in Collingwood. A super place to grab some dinner on the way to the theatre [obviously for Northsiders!] or a post show drink.
Image © Daniel Boud
FiveThe always reliable, always open Supper Club. For after-show supper and scotch or pre-show dinner and wine, you can’t beat the service, environment and that wine list. I like to think this is reminiscent of the area in the castle where the objects go once the Beast has retired to his quarters for a little nightcap!
Tickets are on sale for Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast The Musical' in Melbourne, from 16 November.
'Beauty And The Beast The Musical' is playing at Sydney's Capitol Theatre until 28 January. It plays Queensland Performing Arts Centre from 15 February, and Melbourne's Her Majesty's Theatre from 27 June.