A production spokesperson confirmed that Brown will begin playing Belle in Broadway's Beauty and the Beast Sept 20. Brown replaces Brooke Tansley, who will play her final performance in the long-running musical Sept. 18.
Ashley Brown received her BFA in musical theatre from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She has appeared in productions of Candide, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Violet, Sweeney Todd, Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, Side by Side by Sondheim and Crazy for You. Brown, who can be heard on the new cast recording for On the Record, is also the recipient of the Laurie Beechman Award.
The musical, which is the sixth longest-running show in Broadway history, originally opened at the Palace Theatre — now the home of All Shook Up — April 18, 1994. The production played 2,250 performances at the Palace before reopening at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it now resides. Beauty also recently marked another milestone, playing its 4,500th performances April 8.
Steve Blanchard and the aforementioned Brooke Tansley currently star in the title roles of Beauty and the Beast. Their co-stars include Grant Norman as Gaston, Jeff Brooks as Cogsworth, Peter Flynn as Lumiere, Alma Cuervo as Mrs. Potts, Jamie Ross as Maurice, Aldrin Gonzales as Lefou, Pam Klinger as Babette and Mary Stout as Madame de la Grande Bouche. Matthew Gumley and Patrick O'Neil Henney alternate in the role of the young Chip.
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. The musical plays Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. 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.