Disney's Beauty and the Beast is hitting the Maltz Jupiter Theatre for the holidays. This production is different from anything else you may have seen before.
Yes, there is Belle, and the Beast, just as one would anticipate. But the characters that are inanimate objects are not played by actors in costumes, but by puppeteers all trained by Sesame Street.
"You will see the puppeteers. We are not hiding the puppeteers because they're really apart of it. And the story is that they were human and they've been transformed into these objects. We want to see their sole, we want to see their heart, we want to see who they really are inside," says Director John Tartaglia.
As I talked with the director and the puppeteers who play Cogsworth and Lumière, I noticed something peculiar.
Tactfully I point out, "Guys I don't want you to be insulted but you kind of look like your puppets."
Laughter erupts, "That was intentional," says Cogsworth (Paul Louis).
Laughing, "Partly intentional... Partly intentional", admits John.
"We're beautiful puppets... so.....," jokes Lumière (Brendan Malafronte).
"It's like having a dog like after a while you start to look like your dog and the dog looks like you, right?" says John.
The idea to use puppets was sparked from a Disney Cruise Line's shorter version of the musical. But this is the first time the full musical will have puppetry.
John says the advantages of using puppets are you can move the inanimate objects around like you would in real life.
"I can pick him up like a candelabra and carry him around," says John.
While the puppets made in New York are world class, so are the makeup and costumes. Becoming the Beast takes the makeup and costumers around 45 minutes.
Beauty and the Beast will run at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre through December 16. Tickets start at $60 plus taxes a fee.