Chatting with Bill Condon & Alan Menken
*Disclosure: I received an all expenses paid trip to Los Angeles for the coverage of these events. All opinions are 100% my own.
Press events are fun opportunities to get to see first hand some of the hard-work and dedication it takes to make a film. The individuals all work together seamlessly create masterpieces from songs, to lines, to sets and everything in between, it takes a village to create movies and chatting with these talented individuals is something amazing. At this particular press event we had the chance to see Alan Menken perform and I for one was awestruck with his talent and skill set. He even had two guest performers join him that made the performance even more memorable. Check out the video below of the amazing performance including three very talented men, Alan Menken, Josh Gad and Luke Evans.
After the performance we moved to the “Mommy Blogger” room where we had a chance to chat with Bill Condon and Alan Menken and it was spectacular. It really does seem dream like really that it happened. Both men are truly talented individuals and have a great chemistry when working together and both are equally passionate about his part in the “remake” of Beauty and The Beast. I do have to admit that the entire interview, I kept thinking to myself, he (Alan Menken) is so humble. He is one of the best composers out there and has had several hits if you will and believes that he is an “ordinary” Joe if you will. Which really only made me fall more in love with his work if that is even possible.
Bill Condon told us that just seeing Emma Watson in Harry Potter, lead him to put here into the 21st century Belle role. She loved the original movie, and when she came to her interview she carried in a pile of books because she really wanted the part. The only question was, “could she sing?”, because she had never sung professionally before. But her voice is a continuation of who she is and there is a sweetness and clarity that made her a “different” version of Belle, but one that was going to be really satisfying. And I personally couldn’t agree more!
Alan Menken told us that that music has impacted his life in ways he never thought possible. He was blessed because basically he was a kid who liked to practice the piano, but also nervous kid with an ulcer and a dreamer. Somehow along the way he found that writing songs and composing is where his brain would settle and he just did it. He’s living his life and is surprised that his music has had such an impact on others.
Be sure you head out to your local theater to watch Beauty and the Beast soon. It is a must watch movie that is just as good as the animated version, only more “embellished” to tell a few more details of a beloved Disney classic.
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon from a screenplay by TBD based on the 1991 animated film, the film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice.
Beauty and The Beast now playing in theaters everywhere.