“Beauty and the Beast” travels from Peoria to Phoenix

“Beauty and the Beast” comes to Arizona Broadway Theatre June 2–July 2 and travels to the Herberger Theater Center July 7–16. Dancing together are Tony Edgerton as the Beast and Jill-Christine Wiley as Beauty.
Tony Edgerton and Jill-Christine Wiley star in “Beauty and the Beast” at Arizona Broadway Theatre June 2 through July 2 and at Herberger Theater Center July 7-16. Photos courtesy of ABT.

Time is running out for the Beast, who is no beast at all, but rather a young prince trapped by a curse.

Trapped with him are a kindhearted candelabra (maître d’), a tightly-wound clock (the butler) and an adorable tea cup (a young boy). If the Beast can learn to love and be loved in return, he’ll become a prince once more, but if it doesn’t happen soon, he’ll be doomed forever, along with his household.

Jill-Christine Wiley is Belle.

And then there’s Belle, the beauty who yearns to escape her provincial life.

One of Disney’s most celebrated fairy tales, “Beauty and the Beast” will take an unusual journey this summer, beginning at Arizona Broadway Theatre in Peoria June 2 through July 2, then traveling to the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix July 7-16.

“Beauty and the Beast” is one of three family-friendly shows to be presented by Phoenix-area theaters at the Herberger this summer. The others are Valley Youth Theatre’s “The Wizard of Oz” June 9-25 and “Shrek the Musical” Aug. 11-27.

The “Beauty and the Beast” cast features a number of actors returning to ABT: Jill-Christine Wiley (“Carousel,” “The Little Mermaid”) as Belle, Jon Gentry (“Pageant”) as Maurice and Gerri Weagraff (“Funny Girl”) as Mrs. Potts.

In addition, a number of New York City-based newcomers will be joining the cast, including Tony Edgerton as the Beast, TJ Nelson as Gaston, Christopher Michaels as LeFou, Zachary Spiegel as Cogsworth and Ben Stasny as Lumière.

Tony Edgerton as the Beast.

The productions are the same at both venues, except that those who see “Beauty and the Beast” at the Arizona Broadway Theatre’s home in Peoria may choose to enjoy a meal with the show, while those at the Herberger will have a more traditional theater experience downtown.

Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is recommended for all ages.

If you go June 2-July 2: Noon and 5:30 p.m. on select dates. (Free “After Dark Cabaret” event 30 minutes after the end of the show on Friday, June 16.) Prices vary but typically range from $35-$95 for dinner and show. Arizona Broadway Theatre, 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria. 623-776-8400 or azbroadway.org.

If you go July 7-16: 1, 2 and 7 p.m. shows on select dates. $37.50-$77.50. Herberger Theater Center, 222 E. Monroe St., Phoenix. herbergertheater.org