Zooey Deschanel is Belle in the live concert retelling of Disney's Beauty and the Beast which opened on Friday, May 25, at the Hollywood Bowl.
The performance, directed by Richard Craft, also featured Rebel Wilson, Kelsey Grammer, Taye Diggs, Anthony Evans, and Jane Krakowski. The all-star cast performed musical numbers from the 1991 Academy Award-winning animated movie along with an orchestra conducted by Michael Kosarin.
The original animated movie directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise and starred Paige O'Hara as Belle was also played on the screens above the stage during the live concert.
The live concert comes a year after Disney released its live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. It starred Emma Watson (Harry Potter movies) and Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey and Legion).
'Beauty And The Beast' Cast
Deschanel (500 Days of Summer), dressed in a powder blue lace midi dress, spectacularly delivered a charming version of Belle. In the review of the Los Angeles Times, Todd Martens said that the 38-year-old actress was a "lovingly understated vocalist, possessing a casual confidence that lent a sense of optimism to Belle."
For Evans, he was able to show the more human side of the Beast with his performance of "Evermore," a song written especially for the 2017 live-action movie.
Another undeniable highlight of the show was Wilson (Pitch Perfect) who returns onstage following her appearance in 2016's The Little Mermaid concert at the Hollywood Bowl. The Australian comedian, this time around, offered a gender-bending Le Fou.
Ha! @RebelWilson @TayeDiggs amazing. #beautyandthebeast pic.twitter.com/QRb4Pa47u9 — Marc Malkin (@marcmalkin) May 26, 2018
Oh and yeah I did some rhythmic gymnastics on stage too...those mandatory Year 10 P.E classes finally came in handy! pic.twitter.com/KkOrNX2J5a — Rebel Wilson (@RebelWilson) May 27, 2018
She was the perfect companion to Digss' Gaston who brandished his muscles and confidence onstage as they sang "Belle" and "The Mob Song."
Grammer (Trollhunters, The Last Tycoon) is Lumiere, the man who turned into a candelabra in the Beast's castle. The actor/producer was perfectly cast for the role, delivering a spectacular rendition of "Be Our Guest." He was joined by Krakowski who played the role of Mrs. Potts.
Be our guest.#janekrakowski @kesleygrammer #beautyandthebeast pic.twitter.com/QGiTynTaW7 — Marc Malkin (@marcmalkin) May 26, 2018
"Krakowski makes for a slightly slinkier Mrs. Potts than Angela Lansbury might have had us imagining, but she resisted any temptation to go all Nine on us in the role, only running her hands down the sides of her white dress once," wrote Variety on the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star's performance.
She later returns for a heartful rendition of the titular "Beauty and the Beast" song complete with asides for young Chip.
Tony Award-winner Marissa Jaret Winokur also performed a track that was cut from the original animated movie, "Human Again."
'Beauty And The Beast' Concert Receives Standing Ovation
Alan Menken, Academy Award-winning composer, closed the live concert with a piano rendition of "How Does A Moment Last Forever," another song he penned for the 2017 live-action movie.
The performance was met with a thunderous applause from the audience that included Ben Platt (Dear Evan Hansen) and Frankie Grande (Rock of Ages).
"Thank you for your support for Beauty and the Beast," Menken addressed the audience. "We're the reason we do this."