Qatar Today - - DOHA DIARY - By Keer­tana Ko­duru

As a child, I dreamt of be­ing a princess, singing and danc­ing my way through our lit­tle apart­ment I imag­ined as a cas­tle. The mys­tery of the for­bid­den west wing and the en­chant­ing crea­tures of the cas­tle made my eyes pop wide open then, and con­tin­ues to do so now. A tale as old as time, Dis­ney's

the Broad­way mu­si­cal, beau­ti­fully cap­tured the essence of the story which was never to judge a book by its cover; in­ner beauty is more pre­cious than out­ward ap­pear­ances. It could be tax­ing for many to sit through a mu­si­cal with all the sing-song, but for any­one who be­lieves in the magic of love and mu­sic, it was in­deed a cel­e­bra­tion.

The am­phithe­atre at the Qatar Na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre was filled with awe, mer­ri­ment and joy with ev­ery song. One couldn't stop sway­ing to the beat, and the in­stant con­nec­tion the char­ac­ters made with the au­di­ence was just right. The show had me en­grossed, in­volved and I only re­al­ized a lit­tle later into the show that I was singing along.

Based on the 1991 Academy-Award win­ning an­i­mated fea­ture film, Dis­ney's

Af­ter vis­it­ing Turkey, Ro­ma­nia and 15 other coun­tries, the stars of the Broad­way mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­ganza, Beauty and the Beast, per­formed in Doha to steal our hearts and daz­zle us with the time­less fairy tale.

premiered on Broad­way in 1994, where it was nom­i­nated for nine pres­ti­gious Tony Awards and ran for 13 years. It still ranks as one of the long­est-run­ning and high­est-gross­ing Broad­way shows of all time. Since li­cens­ing of the ti­tle be­gan in 2004, there have been pro­duc­tions in 22 coun­tries, seen by more than 35 mil­lion peo­ple, trans­lated into eight dif­fer­ent lan­guages with over 28 thou­sand per­for­mances – equiv­a­lent to a run of 67 years, gen­er­at­ing over $1.7 bil­lion in rev­enue.

The mu­si­cal, writ­ten by Alan Menken (mu­sic), Howard Ashman and Tim Rice (lyrics), in­cor­po­rated more than 40 ac­tors on stage with more than 1,000 cos­tume pieces, a lav­ish stage set and an enor­mous tech­ni­cal ef­fort. Ev­ery mo­ment on stage is a con­nec­tion made with that princess within each one of us and way back to the tale that prides it­self on the give-and-take fac­tor of love.

The stars of the show, Bri­ana Rapa (Beauty) and Mark Beyer (Beast), say they've been on tour since June. “Al­though it be­comes dif­fi­cult for us to stay away from home this long, we've made this group our fam­ily now and are elated to be here.”

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