Darick Pead has been playing the Beast in the American tour of “Beauty and the Beast” for almost two years. That’s a lot of animalistic grunts, a lot of preshow makeup sessions and innumerable versions of “If I Can’t Love Her,” his character’s big first-act closer. But he’s not tired of it yet. The actor, whose co-star Hilary Maiberger has been on the tour as long as he has, shared his thoughts about the iconic role and the production in a phone interview.
Q: Has “Beauty and the Beast” produced a unique base of superfans, like “Wicked” or “Jekyll and Hyde?”
A: We have the movie fan base who come and we also have the people who love the musical … [One] time, actually, there were four generations sitting outside the stage door. They said, ‘This my grandmother, this is my mother, this is my daughter and this is her daughter.’ Bam. Four generations were coming to see the show. So it’s really cool, because it has wide appeal.
Q: I’ve heard you’re a big Jim Carrey fan. Do you have a background in comedy?
A: I did a lot of theater in Utah. I went to school at Brigham Young University and I just studied straight acting.
The crazy thing about the beast is that the Beast is actually is kind of funny. In the movie, you can be endeared to the Beast because they can have him holding all the birds and that kind of thing. In a Broadway musical, they have to do it a different way. So the Beast is also kind of funny.
Q: You’ve been on the tour for 18 months. Are you getting sick of it yet?
A: I definitely am not. There’s just something about the accountability of doing a good job. Early on, somebody said something that really stuck with me: For somebody in the audience, it’s going to be their first show they’ve ever experienced and for somebody in the audience it’s going to be their last. And so for me, underneath that, I say, ‘So make it a good one.’
– Colin Dabkowski