Beauty and the Beast to close

Walt Disney's Beauty And The Beast, playing at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, is to end its thirteen year run on Broadway on 29 Jul 2007. When the musical closes it will have played 56 previews and 5,464 performances, making it the sixth longest running show in Broadway history.

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 in November 2007.

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.

Beauty And The Beast was Disney Theatrical Productions' first Broadway musical.

As well as Beauty And The Beast, Disney is also represented on Broadway by The Lion King, Tarzan and The Lion King, Mary Poppins, a joint production with Cameron Mackintosh.

Disney Theatrical producer Thomas Schumacher said, "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 said in a statement, "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."

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.

The show currently feature: Steve Blanchard (The Beast), Deborah Lew (Belle), Stephen R. Buntrock (Gaston), Jonathan Freeman (Cogsworth), Stuart Marland (Lumiere), John Tartaglia (Lumiere), Jeanne Lehmann (Mrs. Potts), Jamie Ross (Maurice), Aldrin Gonzales (Lefou), Meredith Inglesby (Babette) and Mary Stout (Madame de la Grande Bouche). Trevor Braun and Alexander Scheitinger alternate the role of Chip.

The musical 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.

Originally published on

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