Disney's Beauty And The Beast opens in Mexico City in 1997 as the beginning of a Latin American tour for the hit Broadway musical that will take it to Brazil, Argentina and Colombia.
The cast includes: Roberto Blandon as the Beast, Lolita Cortes as Belle, Norma Herrera as Mrs. Potts, Estrella Ramirez as Mme. de la Grande Bouche, Sergio Saldivar as Gaston, Lenny Zundel as Lefou, Rene Garcia Azcoitia as Cogsworth, and Pia Aun as Babette. The tour will be co-presented by Walt Disney Theatrical Worldwide and Latin American concert promoters, Rock & Pop Internacionale. Producers OCESA will also help out on the Mexican stint.
Although specific theatres haven't been finalized yet, Patty Onagin, representing Walt Disney Theatrical Productions confirms that cities on the tour will include Buenos Aires, Argentina; Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo, Brazil; and Bogota, Colombia. 1997 will also see two additional, separate productions of the show, in London and Stuttgart.
"The people of Latin America can look forward to seeing our Spanish and Portuguese language productions of Beauty And The Beast," noted Disney Company vice chairman, Roy E. Disney. "The same first class quality entertainment that they would experience were they to attend our Broadway production of the show."
Disney producer Robert W. McTyre elaborated: "Latin America will have the opportunity to experience a true Broadway musical -- complete with show-stopping musical numbers, Tony-Award winning costumes [by Ann Hould-Ward] and awe-inspiring sets [by Stan Meyer, with lighting by Natasha Katz]." Based on the 1991, Oscar-nominated, Disney animated film of the same name, Beauty And The Beast tells the story of bookish Belle whose father is imprisoned by a fierce beast (actually a handsome prince cast under an unfortunate spell). Belle tries to civilize the Beast, but can she do it before narcissistic Gaston ruins both their lives?
Beauty And The Beast premiered at Houston's Theatre Under The Stars Dec. 1993 and opened at Broadway's Palace Theatre, April 18, 1994. The show was written by Linda Woolverton and featured music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Best known songs from both the musical and the movie include the title tune and the lavish dance number, "Be Our Guest."
Recently having played its 1000th performance on Broadway, Beauty And The Beast also has companies in Los Angeles, Toronto, Sydney, Vienna, Tokyo, Osaka and Washington DC.