Musical adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” coming to Tehran theater

May 17, 2022 - 18:47

TEHRAN – A musical adaptation of the French fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast” will be staged at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall in June.

Mahan Heidari, who is known for his collaboration with a line producer and assistant producers in the acclaimed movies “A Hairy Tale” and “Tale of the Sea”, will direct the musical.

Composer Behzad Abdi, who has worked with Behruz Gharibpur in several of his opera puppet shows, will cooperate in this musical, which will be performed by a group of professional vocalists.

The play will be co-produced by Heidari and Elena Khalili.

The epic love story of a beautiful young girl imprisoned in the magical castle of a monstrous beast was written by French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve and published in 1740 in “La Jeune Américaine et Les Contes Marins” (“The Young American and Marine Tales”).

Her lengthy version was abridged, rewritten and published by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1756 in “Magasin des Enfants” (“Children's Collection”) to produce the version most commonly retold and later by Andrew Lang in “Blue Fairy Book” from his series “Fairy Book” in 1889.

The fairy tale was influenced by Ancient Greek stories such as “Cupid and Psyche” from “The Golden Ass”, written by Lucius Apuleius Madaurensis in the 2nd century AD, and “The Pig King”, an Italian fairytale published by Giovanni Francesco Straparola in “The Facetious Nights of Straparola” around 1550.

Variants of the tale are known across Europe. In France, for example, “Zémire and Azor” is an operatic version of the story, written by Marmontel and composed by Grétry in 1771, which had enormous success into the 19th century. “Zémire and Azor” is based on the second version of the tale. 

“Amour pour Amour” (“Love for Love”), by Pierre-Claude Nivelle de La Chaussée, is a 1742 play based on de Villeneuve's version. According to researchers at universities in Durham and Lisbon, the story originated about 4,000 years ago.

A screen adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” was directed in 2017 by American filmmaker Bill Condon from a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos.

Photo: A poster for a musical of the fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast”, which will be staged at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall. 

MMS/YAW

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