Beauty and the Beast to Close in July '07 to Make Way for The Little Mermaid
From Broadway.com: (http://www.broadway.com/Gen/Buzz_Story.aspx?ci=542835)
Just a few random comments from me IMNSVHO on this one:
After 13 years on Broadway, Disney's Beauty and the Beast will end its run on July 29. The next tenant of the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and Disney's next theatrical undertaking will be The Little Mermaid, which will begin performances on November 3 with opening night set for December 6. Upon closing, Beauty will have played 46 previews and 5,464 regular performances.
Beauty and the Beast opened on April 18, 1994, and was the inaugural Broadway musical from Disney Theatrical Productions. It played its first five years at the Palace Theatre before transferring to the Lunt-Fontanne on November 11, 1999, and ranks as the sixth longest running show of all time. Disney is also currently represented on Broadway by The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre, Tarzan at the Richard Rodgers Theatre and Mary Poppins (a collaboration with producer Cameron Mackintosh) at the New Amsterdam Theatre.
Composer Alan Menken 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…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."
With a score composed by eight-time Academy Award-winner Menken and his late partner Howard Ashman, The Little Mermaid will feature the well-known songs "Part of Your World," "Kiss the Girl" and the Academy Award -winning Best Original Song, "Under the Sea," as well as nine new songs by Menken and lyricist Glenn Slater. The book for the new musical is by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award -winning playwright Doug Wright (I Am My Own Wife).
The Little Mermaid is based on the Academy Award -winning film and the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. In a magical kingdom beneath the sea, a beautiful young mermaid named Ariel longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above. But first, she'll have to defy her father, the king of the sea, escape the clutches of an evil sea witch and convince a prince that she's the girl with the perfect voice.
The Little Mermaid creative team will include director Francesca Zambello, choreographer Stephen Mear, scenic designer George Tsypin, costume designer Tatiana Noginova and lighting designer Natasha Katz. The show will have a pre-Broadway tryout at the Denver Center Attractions at Ellie Caulkins Opera House beginning July 26.
Beauty and the Beast currently stars Deborah Lew as Belle, Steve Blanchard as the Beast, Stephen Buntrock as Gaston, John Tartaglia as Lumiere, Jeanne Lehman as Mrs. Potts, Jonathan Freeman as Cogsworth, Jamie Ross as Maurice, Meredith Inglesby as Babette, Mary Stout as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Aldrin Gonzalez as Lefou, and Trevor Braun and Marlon Sherman alternating in the role of Chip.
Casting for The Little Mermaid has yet to be announced.
- Given the number of stunt castings in this show, it's years on Broadway, the availability of community theatres to now produce this show, and the box office, this is hardly surprising news...at least it shouldn't be a shock. I'll still miss it though. If you never got to see this one, then try to catch a community theatre production in your area if NYC isn't an option for you. Last year, we had 3...yes...3...uno, dos, tres...productions of BatB in my community alone. I saw one of them....very well done!
-As much as I adore BatB (and those who know me, know I do!), it's time to go and make way for something new. And will they please....FOR THE LOVE OF GOD...please take Phantom with you?
-As much as I am looking forward to The Little Mermaid (actually...I'm more looking forward to Mel Brook's Young Frankenstein) next season, would it pain Broadway to cease and desist turning popular movies into musicals? It's starting to wear a tad thin with me. I know why Disney does this, but does everyone else have to do this as well?
-Can we please get a Broadway theatre in WDW to host shows like BatB, On The Record, various tours, etc.? Vegas has jumped onto this bandwagon, so should WDW. :yes:
Now to decide if I should get tickets for this this Summer before it goes dark...:scratchin