PLAYBILL PLAYLIST: Pippin's Ariana DeBose and Benjamin Rauhala Pick Performances That Defy "Type"
07 Aug 2014
Toni Braxton as Belle in Beauty and the Beast. We couldn't not include this one! In 1998 Toni Braxton made history being cast as the first African American to play Belle in Beauty and the Beast at the Palace Theatre. Talk about non-traditional casting. I find what she was able to do with this role admirable seeing as she had to really "buck up" to do eight shows a week, which is unlike anything in the music industry. You go girl!
Set in the magical world of La Belle Epoque Paris, where fashion, glamour, and passion prevail, Lerner and Loewe's celebrated musical is a romantic comedy about one young woman's journey to find her true self... and her true love.