Meanwhile, “Beauty and the Beast” opened Aug. 8 in Toronto, where Disney has booked the 1,964-seat Princess of Wales for five years. The C$17 million ($13 million) production, with its C$88 ($67.67) top -a Toronto high – got the nod from most of the critics, though Kate Taylor, in the Globe and Mail, managed to get the phrase “strong whiff of rape fantasy” into the second paragraph of her review, which ran under the headline “A vastly overblown Beauty.” Taylor went on to call it “the most overproduced piece of theater I have ever seen.”
Nevertheless, “Beauty and the Beast” has proven to be an audience show wherever it has played. McTyre says that while the Toronto advance is good but not stunning, experience has taught him that the wraps will build now that the show has opened.
The Toronto sit-down follows Melbourne, Los Angeles and Broadway (where the show is on the verge of recoupment after 16 months and continues to play to near-capacity crowds at the Palace). Four more productions are planned before the end of the year, the next one being Vienna, where “Beauty and the Beast” starts previews next month. These days McTyre lives in the air a good deal of the time.