Synetic Theater swaps ‘Beauty and the Beast’ for ‘War of the Worlds’

Synetic Theater will present a magical, darkly Gothic production of Beauty and the Beast, from March 3 to April 2, 2023. Originally performed in 2014 to critical and popular acclaim, Beauty and the Beast replaces War of the Worlds, which will now receive its world premiere in fall 2023. Tickets are on sale now at synetictheater.org.

Adapted by brothers Ben and Peter Cunis and choreographed by award-winning Synetic co-founder Irina Tsikurishvili, Synetic’s Beauty and the Beast is dark, magical and poignant, maintaining the mystical and otherworldly qualities of the original fairy tale. Ben Cunis, who now serves as Synetic’s Managing Director, returns to direct the 2023 production. The complete cast and creative team are to be announced.

Irina Kavsadze as Belle with Vato Tsikurishvili as the Beast Synetic Theater’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ (2014). Photo by Johnny Shryock.

Not to be confused with Disney’s animated movie, this sparkling and visually stunning Gothic romance dives deep into the realms of longing, despair and the journey to redemption. The adaptation is based on Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s 1740 novel La Belle et la Bête, and also takes creative inspiration from Beaumont’s popularized story and Cocteau’s 1946 film.

The dark and fascinating tale comes to life on stage in Synetic’s powerful wordless style, imaginative stage effects, and masterful shadowplay and shadow puppets, which The Washington Post called “dynamic and graphically clever.”

Beauty and the Beast replaces War of the Worlds, as conceived and directed by Synetic Theater co-founder and Artistic Director Paata Tsikurishvili, who is recovering from serious injuries, including several broken bones, sustained in a car accident. He is expected to make a full recovery, and War of the Worlds will now premiere in fall 2023.

Beauty and the Beast will run from March 3 to April 2, 2023, at Synetic Theater, 1800 South Bell Street, Arlington, VA (at the Crystal City Metro & Shops). Run time is approximately 90 minutes, with no intermission. Tickets are $35–$60 and are available online.

Please note that Synetic’s Beauty and the Beast is based on the original French novella, and is not based on the Disney musical. This production contains fantasy violence and exploration of adult themes that may be scary to very young children. Best for ages 7+. Parental guidance is advised.