Broadway Grand Rapids is showing Disney's Beauty and the Beast through December 30.

Theater critics have their reviews, but we have the real story from a true expert on Disney.  A 6-year-old girl.  My daughter.

I had the pleasure of going to the opening night performance of the Broadway Grand Rapids presentation of Disney's Beauty and the Beast on Wednesday, December 26.  I went with my little beauty, my 6-year-old daughter.

The show was scheduled for a 7:30pm start, but was intentionally started about 15 minutes late due to what was announced as "beastly" weather.  The late start was appropriate and no doubt appreciated by many.

We came to the show with high expectations.  Our house is filled with Beauty and the Beast toys:  a singing Belle doll, dress-up clothes, reading books, coloring books, the movie, and (lots) more.

My 6-year-old was very excited for the show and was literally sitting on the edge of her seat from the very beginning.  It wasn't until the introduction of the Beast that she finally sat back.  The Beast's first appearance came as the stage darkened, thunder crashed, and the Beast roared.  A bit scary for some 6-year-olds.  That made for a good time to sit back and snuggle with your Daddy.

Wednesday's opener of Beauty and the Beast was a solid show.  It was held together by a fantastic performance from Hilary Maiberger as Belle.

The show is slow in parts but a couple of amazing group performances during Act 1, "Gaston" and "Be Our Guest", make for an unforgettable night.

Now for some expert commentary from my six-year-old daughter:

  • Favorite part: "When Belle wore a pink dress."  (It's her favorite color.)
  • Biggest disappointment:  "We didn't get a slushy."
  • Which is better the musical or the movie?  "I like both the same."
  • Other highlights...
  • "I liked when they danced at the end."
  • Belle's singing "is beautiful".
  • "I don't like the Beast that much because he's a little scary at first."
  • "It's a nice musical that teaches you friendship."
Beauty and the Best is a little scary, but it has beautiful singing and teaches you about friendship.  Sounds like a winner to me!

The show ran about 2.5 hours including one intermission.