"There’s no man in this show quite as manly and you can definitely see his spare biceps — the boorish brainless buffoon Gaston (Joe Hager) Disney’s perfect narcissist. With a bold belt to all of his songs, Hager’s voice echoes with deep rich tones during “Me” a song where he spends each verse and chorus showering himself with egotistical praise. Hager’s self-absorbed portrayal of the villain is only outdone by his sheer energetic enthusiasm to woe Belle. But a darker side also prevails when Hager lends his deep booming voice to “The Mob Song” unleashing a ferocious sounding terror into the lyrics that really steers the village people into frightened chaos. Hager glazes his character with a fabulous flare, driving this over the top self-loving villain into the category of ‘handsome hunk we all love to hate."
"Of course, everyone knows Gaston (Joe Hager) is the funniest, even if he’s not in on the joke. As the preening, insufferable buffoon who imagines himself irresistible, Hager’s incredibly expressive face and body (even his biceps “acted”) were mesmerizing to watch."
"But the best thing so far has been bringing "Beauty and Beast" home to Kansas. Family and friends turned out for the show, including his 92-year-old grandmother, who was seated in the second row. "That was absolutely amazing," Hager said. "Some of the people who helped teach me when I was growing up were present at the show, and I can't begin to tell you just how good that felt." Hager will complete the circle later this spring when the tour goes to L.A. and plays in the same theater where he saw it almost 20 years ago."
Kansas City native son Joe Hager was hilarious as the deeply narcissistic, muscle-bound boor Gaston, and his exaggerated choreography and ridiculous eyebrow-wagging facial expressions made his scenes hilarious to watch, especially as he extolled his own perfection in a number not included in the movie, “Me,” which gave us an extra chance to hear Hager’s beautiful deep voice. Hager’s voice and hilarious self-involvement shone again in “Gaston,” the second big company number which was a huge success