The hit Disney musical, currently at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, will also soon celebrate another milestone. On April 21, the musical based on the Oscar nominated animated film will become the sixth longest-running musical in Broadway history when it surpasses Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg's Miss Saigon.
The Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast currently co-stars Christy Carlson Romano as Belle and Steve Blanchard as the Beast. Others in the cast include Aldrin Gonzalez as Lefou, Grant Norman as Gaston, David Devries as Lumiere, Alma Cuervo as Mrs. Potts and Alex Rutherford and Henry Hodges, who alternate as the young Chip.
A few "fun" Beauty facts: • It took a year and a half to develop the Enchantress’ fireball and it is the first known throwable hand-held device of its kind. She can hold the ball of fire in her hand until it burns out without any physical damage. • Lumiere’s hands are made of a flameproof plastic surrounding a flame device that uses one ounce of liquid butane per hand per show. In the last ten years it has burned 700 pounds of butane. • The Beast needs three people to help him into make-up, prosthetics, hair and wardrobe. Originally this process took over three hours before each performance; it now takes only one hour. To help achieve his animal-like appearance, he wears special latex gloves and has special rubber toes glued to the outside of his boots. • Lumiere’s second act headpiece is made of polyurethane and weighs less than a pound. • Belle’s ball gown weighs thirty pounds.
Featuring a score by Alan Menken, Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman, Beauty and the Beast boasts a book by the author of the original screenplay, Linda Woolverton; the musical was directed by Robert Jess Roth. Beauty opened at the Palace Theatre April 18, 1994, and now plays the Lunt-Fontanne.
Tickets may be purchased at the theatre's box office (205 W. 46th Street) or by calling (212) 307-4747. For more information, visit Walt Disney Theatricals on-line at www.disneyonbroadway.com.