Heading the cast are Igor Ivanov as The Prince and Natalia Bystrova and Ekaterina Guseva, who share the role of Belle. Ivanov landed his role via a reality TV competition entitled "Find Your Prince."
In a statement Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Group, said, "It's only fitting that Beauty and the Beast is Disney's first show to premiere in Russia since it was also our first show on Broadway almost 15 years ago. It's a timeless story that translates beautifully across all cultures and languages. We're incredibly proud to work with our friends and partners at Stage Entertainment to bring Beauty and the Beast to Russian audiences using Russian actors speaking in Russian."
Dmitry Bogachev, producer of the Russian Beauty and the Beast and managing director of Stage Entertainment Russia, added, "The musical genre is gaining popularity in Russia. We are sure Beauty and the Beast will be successful here, because we offer our audiences exactly what they want to see. Record ticket sales and huge interest from the media demonstrate that the Russian theatre-going audience is really looking forward to seeing this brilliant and highly entertaining show."
Beauty and the Beast has played in 14 countries and 116 cities. The Broadway production closed in July 2007 after a 13-year run.
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 on Broadway by Robert Jess Roth.