Looking for excuses to bring your kids to Beauty And The Beast Well, for one thing, singing star Deborah Gibson is currently playing the role of Belle. For another, the show was Disney's first theatrical hit, pointing the way to another musical film they're adapting into a Broadway show, The Lion King. Last but not least, you can save a bundle:
For every adult-priced ticket bought for seats between Jan. 7-March 1, 1998, you get a free children's ticket. Not all seats are available, and tickets must be purchased before Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27), but otherwise the promotion is similar to the Kids' Night On Broadway events planned by the League of American Theatres & Producers. (That promotion, however, covers only selected performances in January.)
Visit the 47th St. box office or call TicketMaster (212) 307-4100 for information on the Beauty And The Beast promotion, offered no doubt because the post-holiday winter months are traditionally a slow time for Broadway ticket sales.
A source close to the production told Playbill On-Line Gibson would likely be in Beauty And The Beast for eight months. She began Sept. 24.
Gary Beach, who played Dorothy Loudon's philandering hubby in City Center's "Encores!" edition of Sweet Adeline, returned to Broadway March 12 in the Tony-nominated role he originated on stage -- Lumiere, the Chevalieresque candelabrum. Other cast members in Beauty And The Beast (as of Nov. 3) include Harrison Beal (LeFou), Tim Jerome (Maurice), Gibby Brand (Cogsworth), Marc Kudisch (Gaston), Chuck Wagner (The Beast), and Beth Fowler (Mrs. Potts).
Previous theatrical ventures for Gibson include the London mounting of Grease! (as Sandy) and Broadway's Les Miserables (as Eponine). Gibson has sold ten million albums and is busy working on her own musical, Skirts. That show is based on a screenplay that almost, but didn't quite, get made. Since that screenplay was by Richard LaGravenese -- author of the Streisand film hit, The Mirror Has Two Faces -- and since Gibson is receiving engineering and production help on the project from Steve Skinner, the burner under Skirts seems to have been turned up a notch. The New York Post reported that Kenny Ortega, who was to have directed the film back in 1989, has been mentioned as possible director of the show. Skirts has overtones of West Side Story and 1980's hip-hop films. It's about a girl from Scarsdale who helps girl-gangs settling their differences via a huge dance contest.
Gibson's spokesperson David Salidor told Playbill On-Line that Skirts should eventually come to Broadway, though it may not start there. "She's been working on it nine years, we're not gonna rush it now. Originally Dawn Steel, when she was running Columbia, approached Gibson to appear in the movie, which was a strongly green-lighted project." When Steel left the company (which had been bought by Sony) the project went into turn-around, but Gibson continues to work on it and has over 35 songs written to date.
A Playbill On-Line reader attended seminars Gibson gave at the Learning Annex and said the actress performed a song from Skirts called "Dance the Dream," "which the character Bernadette sings in a subway. Deborah's character is Betty Bonatello." Gibson also told seminar attendees she'll be appearing in, and writing the score for, the film, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend.