Beauty and the Beast: John Tartaglia and Jonathan Freeman to join cast

John Tartaglia will be starring as Lumiere in Disney's Beauty And The Beast, beginning 21 Nov 2006, also joining the cast on the same day is Jonathan Freeman, who will be starring as Cogsworth.

John Tartaglia made his Broadway debut when he originated the roles of Princeton and Rod in Avenue Q in Las Vegas and on Broadway for which he received a Tony Award nomination for Best Actor in a Musical in 2004.

Johnathan Freeman, a Broadway veteran, has appeared in The Producers, 42nd Street, On the Town, and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and was nominated for the Best Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award for his role as Headwaiter in She Loves Me (revival 1993).

Tartaglia and Freeman will star opposite Sarah Uriarte Berry as Belle, Steve Blanchard as the Beast, Donny Osmond as Gaston (who recently extended his engagement through to 24 Dec 2006), Jeanne Lehmann as Mrs. Potts, Mary Stout as Madame de la Grand Bouche, Meredith Inglesby as Babette and Aldrin Gonzalez as Lefou.

Beauty And The Beast opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 1994, where it played more than 2,250 performances, becoming the longest-running show ever at the theatre.

The production moved to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre in 1999, where it is also the longest-running tenant at this theatre, having played 2,678 performances. The musical is currently booking to the 1 Jul 2007.

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.

Beauty And The Beast is Broadway's longest running American musical and the 6th longest running musical of all time. Seen in 13 countries, the total worldwide attendance stands at more than 25 million people, making it one of the world�s most-seen musicals.

Originally published on

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