The City of Bee Cave and Magnolia Musical Theatre are thrilled to be hosting this year’s free summer musical at the Hill Country Galleria: Beauty and the Beast. From now until August 13, shows will be held every Wednesday-Sunday at 8:00 P.M. at the Central Plaza just North of Bee Cave City Hall and the Bee Cave Library.

Although performances have been drawing crowds of 500-700 people per night, there’s no need to get there hours in advance. Early birds looking to make a night of it can claim a blanket spot as early as 6:00 P.M., get a good parking spot, and enjoy dinner at one of the Galleria’s many restaurants. Saltgrass Steakhouse, Café Blue, and Tony C’s take online reservations; All Star Burger, Buenos Aires Café, and Tadashi Sushi take reservations by phone. All other Galleria restaurants are first-come, first-serve.

Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest, but on other nights, grabbing a spot on the plaza minutes before showtime is easily possible. Clean, air-conditioned public restrooms are available across the street from the plaza next to Café Blue, where there is also a water bottle refill station to keep the audience hydrated in the summer sun (which, thankfully, dips behind the buildings to the West around 7:00 P.M.) and a soft drink vending machine that accepts cash only.

A live orchestra performs the music from the building immediately East of the central plaza during the stage production. There is a 12-minute intermission around 9:30 P.M., and the show ends around 10:30 P.M. After the show, cast members hang around to sign autographs and take photos with kids who can stay awake that long. On Wednesdays, Magnolia hosts senior and accessibility night, with an ASL interpretation and an audio description for the hearing and vision impaired communities.

Blankets and lawn chairs are permitted, but chairs must not exceed 28 inches in height, and theater staff ask that chairs be placed on the outside perimeter of the plaza to keep audience views unobstructed. Well-behaved dogs on leashes are also allowed. While children are welcome to roam the turf on the plaza until the opening number, the stage itself is off-limits to anyone except cast and crew. Flash photography, filming video, and glass containers are also prohibited.

The performance is free and open to the public, but Magnolia Musical Theatre is a non-profit organization that depends on sponsorships and donations to pay its actors, orchestra, and crew. Purchase concessions, throw some cash in the buckets at intermission, or donate online to help keep their mission of free community theater in the Hill Country alive. In addition to bottled water and snacks, the concession stands have light up toy roses in multiple colors for sale for $5. When Belle declares her love for the Beast, the audience can wave the roses in the night sky to create the magic needed to end the spell enchanting the Beast’s castle.

Be our guest, and bring the kids, the pups, a blanket, and a cooler for the tale as old as time before school starts!


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