Intelligent, kind, and classically lovely, Belle is the town beauty, but the townspeople are bewildered by her fondness for books and her independent personality. Fed up with the small-mindedness of the provincial French town, Belle is very curious and longs for the kind of adventure she has read about in her books. She is pursued endlessly by Gaston for her beauty, but she thinks he’s a meatheaded boor and wants nothing to do with him. Devoted and loving, she is very close with her father Maurice. The two feel isolated from the rest of the town for their intellectual proclivities, and feel that only they truly understand one another; they have an “us against the world” outlook on life in the quaint town. Belle bravely travels into the dangerous woods to find and rescue her father when she realizes he is in trouble, even trading her own freedom for his. While being held captive by the Beast, Belle makes the most of the situation and explores the castle (often to the Beast’s ire) and ultimately manages to soften the Beast’s own cold heart. Her endearing and outgoing personality means that she instantly bonds with the household attendants, and (against her knowledge) they are all rooting for her to be the one to earn the Beast’s love and to love him in return, thus breaking the spell. Despite discovering joy within the castle walls, and becoming very devoted to the Beast, she is still very loyal to her father and misses him dearly; she leaves the castle temporarily to rescue him when she sees in the magic mirror that he is sick and lost in the woods. However, when an angry mob descends upon the castle, she bravely rises to the occasion to try to save the Beast, but can’t get there in time before Gaston stabs him in the back. Believing him to be dead, she cries over his body and admits that she loves him; this breaks the spell, and the Beast assumes his handsome human form and the two live happily ever after. Belle sings the most of any character in the show, and has several solo songs, including “Home” and “A Change in Me” (neither of which are in the Disney movie). Unlike in the Disney movie, she doesn’t just watch the spectacle during “Be Our Guest,” but joins in the dance (though this likely will not require much heavy choreography, and Belle’s singing chops are definitely more important than her dancing). She also performs a ballroom dance with the Beast during the title song.
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