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Disney's Beauty and the Beast has that distinctive Magic Kingdom sheen, but just as it is with the Beast, there's more to it than just what appears on its glittering surface. Belle, the beautiful young maid who willingly becomes the Beast's hostage to save her father, bridles under the unwanted affections of Gaston, who desires her beauty but cares not a whit for her formidable intelligence; for his part, Gaston looks perfect but he's rotten to the core (he does, however, have a most rousing theme song). This theme of appearances being deceiving continually crops up, as no one (or china pattern, in the case of Mrs. Potts and Chip) is as simple as they appear to be, giving the story an admirable morality to go with its sweeping romance. The exceptionally popular Beauty and the Beast opens the 2010 Muny season with ten straight performances (June 21 through 30) at the Muny in Forest Park (314-534-1111 or Shows begin at 8:15 p.m., and tickets are $9 to $66.
June 21-30, 2010

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