Bestial Love Hits Arsht Center with Tomorrow's Beauty and the Beast

Between Art Basel, Miami's beaches, and SoBe's endless stream of meticulously sutured and sculpted bodies, it may seem like you're bombarded with nothing but aesthetically pleasing stimuli every minute of every God-forsaken beautiful day. Well, soon the Arsht Center will offer you the chance to stare at a big hairy eyesore in an attempt to restore balance to your disproportionately beauty-drenched existence.  

Beauty and the Beast, the long-running and wildly popular Broadway musical based on the animated Disney film, opens in Miami tomorrow night to the delight of small children and emotionally stunted adults all over South Florida. Jen Bechter, a veteran of international and regional productions, including Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella and the less family-friendly Debbie Does Dallas, plays Madame de la Grande Bouche, the story's diva turned operatic wardrobe. Check out what she has to say about the production after the jump.

The tour has been running for over a year, so Bechter has had a long

time to acquaint herself with the character's inner workings. And she's

discovered that Madame is much more than a simple piece of furniture.

"My character has one of the sadder stories. She was a talented opera

singer who was invited to perform at the castle. While she was there,

she was kind of accidentally trapped in the spell," Bechter says,

referring to a curse that transformed waiters into jovial candlesticks,

little boys into teacups, and of course the handsome prince into a

brooding beast.

The cast will spend New Year's in Miami, prompting the question, if a

singing wardrobe were to make a New Year's resolution, what would it be?

Bechter had a ready answer: "The character seems to be somewhat

bipolar, happy one moment, crying another. She can't decide if she's a

talented opera singer or a terrible opera singer. If she had to make any

New Year's resolution, I have a feeling she really wouldn't be able to

stick to it at all."

Beauty and the Beast opens at the Ziff Ballet and Opera House at the Adrienne Arsht Center (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) Tuesday at 8 p.m. and runs through

January 2. Tickets cost  $25 to $84. Call 305-949-6722 or