Be our guest! "Beauty and the Beast" takes stage at Yas Island this week
Darick Pead and Hilary Maiberger play the Beast and Beauty in the production currently on tour in Abu Dhabi. (Image courtesy of Khaleej Times)
Be our guest and head down to the du Forum until November 8 to enjoy the magical world of Beauty and the Beast.
Follow Belle as she draws the Beast out of his self-imposed solitude with a host of musical numbers.
Here we catch up with Hilary Maiberger (Belle) and Darick Pead (Beast) to find out more.
How close is the show to the Walt Disney film?
The Broadway production is based entirely on the film – with all the same well-loved songs.
How do you think UAE audiences will react to the stage production?
We have no idea, but we hope they will love it! Most audiences react in a great way to the show as you get to see your favourite characters come to life on stage. Even if people don’t know the film, it’s such a beautiful story that everyone can relate to it.
How have you found reactions elsewhere?
So far we have toured in Istanbul only – Abu Dhabi is the second stop on our 20th anniversary international tour – and the reactions there were amazing. You could tell how much they loved it as they were clapping and cheering so much. It’s a popular show at home in the US as well, as it’s been running for two decades.
What is your favourite part of the production?
Hilary: I love Be Our Guest – it’s so fun!
Darick: I really like the Beauty and the Beast song when Emily Mattheson (who plays Mrs Potts) sings it. She has a tremendous voice and she makes the song so magical.
If you had the opportunity to play another part in the production which would it be and why?
Hilary: Lumiere! He makes everyone laugh and I think it would be fun to play that kind of comedic role, as Belle doesn’t get the opportunity to make anyone laugh.
Darick: I would want to be Chip. He only has a couple of scenes but he’s so well loved I think it would be fun.
How do you think your characters would react if they knew they were in the, what some people describe, ‘fairytale kingdom’ of the UAE?
Hilary: Belle would be so excited. She yearns for adventure; she reads books to escape her everyday life; she wants to experience more and different places so I think she would be in heaven here!
Darick: I think the Beast would want a bigger castle after he sees all of these amazing ones.
Roughly how many hours rehearsal goes into the shows?
Before we came on tour we had three weeks of 10am-6pm rehearsal and two weeks of technical rehearsal from 10am-11pm. It’s definitely a full time job!
How long does it take to get into costume?
Hilary: It’s quite easy to get into Belle’s costume, it takes around 20 minutes.
Darick: The Beast is a little more complicated. It takes about 10 minutes for someone to help me put the costume on and another 20 minutes at least for someone to do my makeup. So I tend to be on set at least an hour beforehand to make sure I have enough time to get made up.
How do you get into character?
Hilary: I don’t do any rituals or anything. Playing the part of Belle is somewhat engrained in me now as I have been playing the role for a couple of years and I think I have a lot of similarities with the character so I find it quite easy to become the part.
Darick: For me, it’s hard to really embody my character off stage. He’s such a reclusive character – whenever everyone is on stage, he’s not and when he’s on stage, everyone else if off stage – so I wouldn’t have any friends if I stayed in character off stage. As a result, I tend to leave my character on the stage, which allows me to be very present when I’m on stage.
Do you have a message for your fans?
We are so excited and humbled to be here in the UAE and able to share this story with you all. We really hope you come over to du Forum, Yas Island and watch the show!
Tickets available at www.ticketmaster.ae
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