Exclusive: We sneaked into Disney’s rehearsals for Beauty and the Beast

  • Nidhi Choksi, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2015 16:56 IST
The original Disney animated film. Beauty and the Beast released in 1991 (Disney)

There are 18 people in a circle, doing warm-up exercises. We’re not in a gym. We’re in Andheri, at a rehearsal of the 18-member principal cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast musical. Shortly, the reading session starts, with the background music playing from a laptop, to give cue to the actors.

Vikranth Pawar, the director, says, “The day begins with physical training, and moves on to the reading session, followed by training for vocals and dance. It seems like a long day, but you don’t realise that when you are working with passionate people,” he says.

Meher Mistry (right) and Anil Chandiramani play Belle and Maurice respectively

The overall cast, when the play debuts in Mumbai on October 23, will be over a hundred strong.

It includes some of the finest talents in the country, like Bugs Bhargava who plays Cogsworth (trivia: Ian McKellan is set to play the same character in the upcoming international live-action version), Brian Tellis as Lumiere, Meher Mistry as Belle, Edwin Joseph as Beast.

Belle is the original fairy tale heroine–kind, gentle, and beautiful. She is a strong, intelligent, spirited and independent young woman

Finding the right talent that could ably dance, sing and act was a tough task, but the whole act is slowly coming together, says Pawar. The actors laugh at the jokes in the script, smile encouragingly at their co-actors and applaud when Joseph delivers a well-performed monologue.

Brian Tellis (Left) and Bugs Bhargava play Lumiere and Cogsworth respectively

Come October, Pawar is confident about the kind of response: “The six year olds can enjoy the fairytale come alive. As for the adults, they can relish the dance and music,” he signs off to enjoy his lunch break.

The director, Vikranth Pawar (Solaris Images)

Don’ miss out

Date: October 23: 8pm | October 24 and 25: 3pm and 8pm | October 30,:8pm | October 31: 1pm 3pm and 8pm | November 1: 3pm and 8pm

Venue: Dome@NSCI, SVP Stadium, Worli, Mumbai

Tickets: Bookings open today on bookmyshow.com

Price: Between Rs.1000 to Rs. 5000

Read our interview with Siddharth Roy Kapoor

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