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"Underneath" The Tale of Beauty and the Beast


The Servants welcome the audience (PROLOGUE) and begin the story of Underneath.

Charles Eggleston, his family and friends have gathered to celebrate the pending return of his fleet of merchant ships from another successful trading expedition. (IT’S WONDERFUL TO BE RICH). During the festivities, Mr. Eggleston receives word that a horrible storm has destroyed the entire fleet and all cargo and crew have been lost at sea. Their livelihood suddenly gone, he and the family turn to their friends for help (IT’S WONDERFUL TO BE RICH, Reprise) but soon realize that they’ll have to weather this setback alone. Eggeleston’s daughter, Beauty, convinces him that things will work out as long as they all stick together (WE CAN DO IT).

Forced to live a much simpler lifestyle, the Eggleston family moves into a rundown cottage in the country (WHAT DID WE DO TO DESERVE THIS?). A messenger appears bringing news of an abandoned ship which was sighted several miles offshore. Charles sets out for the journey to town in the hopes that one of his ships may have survived after all (WE CAN DO IT, Reprise).

The waterfront is awash with activity when Charles arrives (A SAILOR’S LIFE). Unfortunately, his hopes of salvaging the ship are quickly dashed when a sailor relates the tale of a thunderous tidal wave destroying the vessel (TWENTY-TWO MEN).

On his journey back, Charles is caught in a terrible thunderstorm (THE STORM) and he collapses on the doorstep of an old castle. The next morning, he awakens to find himself in a grand bedroom and quickly sets out in search of his generous caretaker. While he’s gone the Servants come to the room and, upon realizing that he’s roaming the halls, are fearful of the trouble that he may cause if the master of the house finds out that they’ve taken in a stranger (A STRANGER AT THE DOOR). While the servants split up to look for the stranger, Charles reappears, dresses and is about to leave when he remembers a promise he made to Beauty before he bring her back a rose. Seeing a rose bush growing just outside the bedroom window, Charles picks one and is suddenly confronted by a Beast who chastises him for stealing the flower and who decides to make him a prisoner in the castle as a punishment for his crime.

Left alone, the Beast remembers one fateful night when an old, hungry gypsy woman came to his door seeking help but he ignored her pleas. As a result, she placed a curse on him which turned him into an ugly Beast, a curse that can only be broken by someone expressing true love for him before the last rose falls from his garden (UNDERNEATH).

With no word from their father for several weeks, Beauty and her brothers and sisters set out to search for him. Their journey brings them to the castle where they too are confronted by the Beast who informs them that their father is being kept a prisoner for stealing a rose from his garden. Realizing that she was the reason her father had picked the rose, Beauty persuades Beast to release Charles and to take her prisoner instead. Though her father protests, Beauty assures him that she can take care of herself (WE CAN DO IT, Reprise #2). As the servants show Beauty to her room. Beast wonders if she might be the one who can help him break the spell and become human once again (UNDERNEATH, Reprise).


The Servants welcome back the audience and recap what happened in Act One. (THE STORY THUS FAR).

It’s been several weeks since Beauty came to the castle and half the roses have already fallen in the garden, but, try as he might, Beast can’t seem to do or say the right things that will make him appear less threatening to her (WHAT’S A BEAST TO DO?) The Servants decide to take matters into their own hands and try to convince Beauty that the Master isn’t as bad as he seems (THE NATURE OF THE BEAST). Beauty agrees to make an effort to be friendly to Beast and engages him in a conversation. All goes very well and they make a date to have dinner together at 7:00 p.m. that evening. He also gives her a magical mirror which will allow her to see her family whenever she wishes. She quickly looks into the glass and discovers that her family is plotting to rescue her (WE’VE GOT TO SAVE HER). She thanks Beast for the wonderful gift and is about to leave when she inquires about the identity of a man whose portrait hangs in the great hall. Beast ends up bellowing at her, reducing her to tears, and she runs off.

Having overheard the conversation, the Servants tell Beast that he needs to improve his social skills and they proceed to teach him the way to be a gentleman (BEASTLY ETIQUETTE).

Now fully-trained in the proper way to treat a lady, Beast helps the Servants prepare for the 7:00 p.m. dinner date. (DINNER PREPARATIONS). But when the clock strikes 7 and Beauty doesn’t appear, Beast is resigned to the fact that he’ll never win her over. Suddenly Beauty does appear and, in a most elegant manner, Beast escorts her off to dinner as the Servants congratulate themselves on their success.

Back on the waterfront, Charles and the family have enlisted the aid of the sailors and townspeople to help with Beauty’s rescue (WE’VE GOT TO SAVE HER, Reprise).

After dinner, Beast escorts Beauty back to her room and it seems that the two have become wonderful friends. After he leaves, Beauty realizes that there is a real person underneath his gruff exterior and she’s beginning to have true feelings for him (WHO IS HE?). Before she retires for the night, she looks into the magic mirror again and is suddenly reminded that her family is on her way to rescue her. Knowing now that Beast is no longer a threat to her, she realizes that she must get to her family before they bring harm to him and she runs off into the night.

The next morning, Beast is in the garden looking for Beauty. The Servants are forced to tell him that Beauty has run off. Thinking that she is gone for good and that he’ll never be able to rid himself of the curse, he decides to pick the last rose from the garden which sets into motion the fatal consequences of the curse. Just as he does, the mob appears and a battle ensues during which the much-weakened Beast is quickly struck down. Beauty runs on and tries to save Beast (HOW FAR WE’VE COME) but it’s too late. He dies in her arms. As Charles leads her off, Beauty declares her love for Beast. Suddenly Beast begins to stir and is transformed into a handsome young man, the same man from the portrait in the grand hall. Beauty runs to his arms, the two pledge their love for each other (UNDERNEATH, Reprise), and, once more, a fairy tale ends happily ever after (EPILOGUE).