As the first anniversary of the Toronto Beauty and the Beast approaches , Disney Theatrical Canada have announced changes to several cast members as their contracts come up for renewal.
Dora nominee Chuck Wagner, has signed on for another year as the Beast.
Opposite him as Belle, Melissa Thomson, a Torontonian, recently took over the role from Kerry Butler who transferred to play Belle in the NY production.
Dan Chameroy, who was given a Dora nomination (Toronto's Tony's) the same day as he learned from Disney that his contract would not be renewed. Also not up for renewal when their contracts expire on June 9 are: Andre Therien (Lumiere), Paul Brown (Cogsworth), Jo-Anne Kirwan-Clark (Madame de la Grande Bouche), and Elizabeth Beeler ( Babette).
Rumour has it that these actors, all Canadian, will be replaced by actors from the Los Angeles production, slated to close July 7. When asked, Disney Canada claims that the new cast members must be in place in Toronto by June 12, whereas the LA cast are not released until July. However, the rumours persist that the Canadian cast members are being sacrificed for the benefit of U.S. actors.