Ryan Everett Wood and Patrick Pevehouse are living their dreams as the Beast and Lumiere in the touring production of the stage musical Beauty and the Beast, set to arrive in Vancouver in February.
[pullquote]“It’s always been a dream for me to play Lumiere in this specific show.” – Patrick Pevehouse[/pullquote]“I saw the tour a few times growing up and then went all the way to New York to see it on Broadway,” laughs Pevehouse. “It’s always been a dream for me to play Lumiere in this specific show.”
And with this touring production marking the return of the original creative team behind the 1994 Broadway hit, it only adds to the excitement for the duo. “It’s so awesome,” says Pevehouse. “It’s an experience that I won’t forget for a really long time.”
But it’s not easy stepping into such iconic shoes. Wood says he’s had to go deeper into the character of the Beast than he ever thought possible.
“Something that I discovered in rehearsal is that the Beast is really just a big kid. He was changed into the Beast at a really young age and was frozen in that time until Belle came along,” says Wood. “So there’s this big scary beast just running around being a kid and it’s so funny and real. People keep saying ‘I didn’t realize it was so funny’, but that is how the audience falls in love with the beast, through laughter.”
For Pevehouse the challenge was to find a way to pay his respects to the film’s beloved Lumiere and yet still bring something new to the character.
“I am a bit more wound up than Jerry Orbach, the original voice of Lumiere,” laughs Pevehouse. “So I can put that sense of urgency into the role. But that’s just some colour that I found in the text. Jerry Orbach was sensational, and it would be impossible to compare, but you have to put your own spin on it.”
Pevehouse and Wood are no strangers to the Disney musical. The first time they met was in a Toronto rehearsal room preparing to play Buzz Lightyear and Woody on a Disney Cruise Line production of Toy Story. But living aboard a Disney cruise ship, while an incredible experience, just doesn’t compete with life on tour.
“On the ship, port is what you live for,” says Wood. “But the cool thing about being on tour is that you can go and explore each new place in a way you could never do on the ship.”
“Yeah, I actually really love the tour,” agrees Pevehouse. “I could tour for a few years. You get to see the country and do what you love. I hope to do it for a long time.”