Beauty and the Beast: bows out after 13 years, Donny Osmond joins cast for final performance
After 13 years Disneyï¿½s musical Beauty And The Beast, the inaugural Broadway musical from Disney Theatrical Productions, will play its final performance on Broadway, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, on 29 Jul 2007.
Donny Osmond will join the cast for the musical's final performance, once again assuming the role of Gaston, a character he first played from 19 Sep - 24 Dec 2006.
Beauty And The Beast officially opened on Broadway on 18 Apr 1994 and played at the Palace Theatre for the first five years of its run. The production transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on 11 Nov 1999. When the show closes it will have played played 46 previews and 5,464 regular performances.
Disneyï¿½s Beauty And The Beast is the 6th longest-running Broadway show of all time, logging in more performances than shows like Miss Saigon, 42nd Street, Fiddler on the Roof, and Hello, Dolly! among others. The production is the longest-running production at both the Palace Theatre and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.
The next tenant at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre will be Walt Disney's newest musical production The Little Mermaid, which is scheduled to begin previews on 3 November 2007.
Disney Theatrical producer Thomas Schumacher said, in an earlier statement, "For many theatergoers, Beauty And The Beast has been their first introduction to the magic of Broadway musicals. That's a wonderful legacy for all of us at Disney Theatrical Productions, and we're so proud of the show's record-breaking run on Broadway, throughout the country and around the world. Though the Broadway production is coming to a close, through our relationship with Music Theatre International (MTI), Beauty And The Beast will continue to live on in regional and high school productions around the world."
Alan Menken, the musical composer for Beauty And The Beast and the upcoming The Little Mermaid added, "Beauty And The Beast has meant so much to me, both in remembering the joy of creating the animated film and seeing how audiences have embraced it on Broadway for all of these years. While it saddens me to say goodbye to Beauty And The Beast, I am excited to watch The Little Mermaid take shape as a Broadway musical, and to be a part of its exciting journey to the stage."
Disneyï¿½s Beauty And The Beast's closing cast features features Steve Blanchard (The Beast), Anneliese van der Pol (Belle), Donny Osmond (Gaston), Jonathan Freeman (Cogsworth), David deVries (Lumiere), Jeanne Lehmann (Mrs. Potts), Jamie Ross (Maurice), Aldrin Gonzales (Lefou), Ann Mandrella (Babette) and Mary Stout (Madame de la Grande Bouche). Trevor Braun and Marlon Sherman alternate the role of Chip.
The musical's opening cast featured Terrence Mann (Beast), Susan Egan (Belle), Burke Moses (Gaston), Heath Lamberts (Cogsworth), Gary Beach (Lumiere), Beth Fowler (Mrs Potts), Tom Bosley (Maurice), Kenny Raskin (Lefou),Stacey Logan (Babette), Eleanor Glockner (Madame de la Grande Bouche) and Brian Press (Chip).
Beauty And The Beast is the classic love story of Belle, a young woman in a small, provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a prince trapped in a spell placed on him by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and to be loved, the spell will be broken and he will be transformed back to his former self. But time is running out, and if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he will be doomed for all eternity.
Disney's Beauty And The Beast features Alan Menken's Academy Award-winning score, songs by the late Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (including the Academy Award-winning title song 'Be Our Guest'), plus songs written especially for the stage by Alan Menken and Tim Rice (including 'If I Can't Love Her' and 'A Change In Me'). Book is by Linda Woolverton, author of the original screenplay.
The musical is choreographed by Matt West and directed by Robert Jess Roth. Sets are by Stan Meyer, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, and lighting by Natasha Katz.
The musical was nominated for a total of nine Tony-awards, and won one: Best Costume Design (Ann Hould-Ward).
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