"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
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
left....to 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
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).