Batt, who received a Drama-Logue Award for his performance as Darius in the Los Angeles mounting of Jeffrey — a role he created Off-Broadway and repeated on film — will return to the musical on July 9. Rob Lorey will play the role in the interim.
A fixture on the New York theatre scene for over a decade, Batt's theatre credits include Monty, the disco DJ, in Saturday Night Fever; the Cat in the Hat in Seussical the Musical; Sir Percy in Frank Wildhorn's The Scarlet Pimpernel; as well as principal roles in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Starlight Express and Cats. The actor-singer-dancer also played Joe Gillis opposite Betty Buckley's Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard and has appeared Off-Broadway in Forbidden Broadway and the aforementioned Jeffrey.
Lorey comes to the Broadway production of Beast after playing Lumiere in the national tour of the hit musical. His other theatrical credits include roles in Show Boat, Aspects of Love and Chess.
Beauty and the Beast features the Academy Award-winning score by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman as well as tunes written especially for the stage version by Menken and Evita lyricist Tim Rice. The book was written by the author of the original screenplay, Linda Woolverton, and the musical was directed by Robert Jess Roth. Beauty and the Beast plays at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 W. 46th Street), and tickets may be purchased at the theatre's box office or by calling (212) 307-4747.