Entertainment » Theatre

Beauty and the Beast Live in Concert @ the Hollywood Bowl

by Kevin Taft
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday May 29, 2018
Beauty and the Beast Live in Concert @ the Hollywood Bowl

In what has now become Hollywood Bowl tradition, the legendary venue brought together stars of stage, screen, and television this Memorial Day weekend and paired them with a classic film ready to be remixed, Bowl style. Like "The Little Mermaid" and "La La Land" before it, the Bowl presented "Beauty and the Beast Live in Concert." Showing the classic animated musical on screen, the film was not only accompanied by a live orchestra, but the songs themselves were sung by a host of special guests from all over the entertainment map.

Whenever a musical number was about to begin, the screen faded to a title card announcing the actor or actress who would perform the singing voice of the onscreen character. First of the evening? Star of "The New Girl" Zooey Deschanel. With her wide-eyed and tremulous voice, Deschanel channeled her best innocent Belle along with a chorus to help her with the ensemble characters. Broadway vet Taye Diggs ("Rent") was our evening's Gaston, with Rebel Wilson ("Pitch Perfect") as his buddy LeFou who brought the house down.

Tony Award-winning and four-time Emmy nominated Jane Krawkowski ("Nine") performed as Mrs. Potts; Tony award winner for "Hairspray" Marissa Jaret Winokur sang "Human Again," a song added to the stage musical for the character of the Wardrobe; and Christian gospel singer (and "The Voice" contestant) Anthony Evans brought the house down as the Beast with his heart-stopping rendition of "Evermore," a ballad added to the score in the 2017 live action remake.

Adding to the thrill of the live performances, projections were displayed extending the images on screen to take up the entire band shell and concentric arches of the Bowl that have long since become iconic. Once the film ended, the film's composer Alan Menken graced the audience with his presence, singing songs he and the late Howard Ashman wrote and leading the entire cast in a final song.

It was a special night celebrating one of the worlds most beloved and celebrated animated films made even more spectacular in one of the best venues in the country.

Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to 'Star Wars' and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg.


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