By Christine Ehren
and David Lefkowitz
27 Jan 1999
Disney's Beauty and the Beast, currently playing at the Palace Theatre, will turn 2,000 at the Saturday matinee Jan. 30.
Beauty and the Beast is the 18th longest running show in Broadway history (after Oklahoma! at 2212 performances) and the fifth longest currently running show on Broadway (alongside Cats, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Saigon).
Based on the Disney animated movie of the same name, Beauty and The Beast opened Apr. 18, 1994. The musical features music by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Beauty won a 1994 Tony Award for its costume designer Ann Hould-Ward and was nominated for eight others including best musical, best actor and actress and best direction.
The current cast of Beauty and the Beast includes Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton as Belle, James Barbour as the Beast and "Designing Women"'s Meshach Taylor as Lumiere. Braxton and Taylor will remain with the show until Feb. 28. Andrea McArdle (Annie, State Fair) has been confirmed to replace Braxton, starting March 3. On the same date, Patrick Page will take over as Lumiere.
For tickets and information on Beauty and the Beast call (212) 307 4747.