ABC's animated-live action hybrid Beauty and the Beast special premieres December 15 at 8 PM ET on ABC; check local listings. Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will also stream on Disney+ from December 16. The event is expected to resemble 2019's The Little Mermaid Live, which paired scenes from the 1989 animated film with staged, live performances.
The cast also features Broadway favorite Joshua Henry as Gaston, David Alan Grier as Cogsworth, EGOT winner Rita Moreno as the narrator, Martin Short (It's Only a Play) as Lumiere, Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon) as Maurice, Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts, Rizwan Manji (Schitt's Creek) as LeFou, and Leo Abelo Perry as Chip.
Jon M. Chu, film director of In the Heights and Wicked, executive produces the special, and Hamish Hamilton (The Little Mermaid Live, The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards) directs.
With a screenplay by Linda Woolverton and a score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, Beauty and the Beast was released in 1991 and was famously described by New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich as "the best Broadway score" of the year, despite being a film. Based on the classic fairy tale, the work made its way to the stage as Disney's first Broadway outing in 1994, becoming a massive hit and running until 2007. The work has continued to be produced worldwide and received a live-action screen remake in 2017. There were also new songs written for the musical's stage and live-action film adaptations, most of which feature lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Menken.