Disney has chosen to celebrate the fifth anniversary of its hit Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast with a special performance to benefit UNICEF, the international organization dedicated to the welfare of children. Appropriately enough, fully 1,700 will attend the April 15 anniversary event. The youngsters will add to the 3.3 million-plus people who have already seen the show over 2,086 performances. The April 15 benefit will be introduced by Roy Disney and film actress Lynn Whitfeild, spokesperson for UNICEF. During the performances, current Belle Andrea McArdle will be joined by Belles from productions of Beauty and the Beast in Japan, Germany and Argentina. They will perform together in specially staged and orchestrated numbers. A party will follow the performance.
Beauty and the Beast, which opened at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994, was adapted from the popular animated Disney feature by the same name. It features songs by Alan Menken, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton.