Beginning Sept. 20 Brown will become the 15th actress to portray Belle in the long-running Disney hit at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Brown succeeds Brooke Tansley, who is currently playing the role created on Broadway by Susan Egan. Tansley will offer her final performance Sept. 18.
Ashley Brown received her BFA in musical theatre from Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music. She has appeared in productions of Candide, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Violet, Sweeney Todd, Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, Side by Side by Sondheim and Crazy for You. Brown, who can be heard on the new cast recording for On the Record, is also the recipient of the Laurie Beechman Award.
Beauty and the Beast, which is the sixth longest-running show in Broadway history, originally opened at the Palace Theatre — now the home of All Shook Up — April 18, 1994. The production played 2,250 performances at the Palace before reopening at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it now resides. Beauty also recently marked another milestone, playing its 4,500th performances April 8.
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 by Robert Jess Roth. The musical plays Tuesdays at 7 PM, Wednesday-Saturday evenings at 8 PM, with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 3 PM.
Tickets may be purchased at the theatre's box office (205 W. 46th Street) or by calling (212) 307-4747. For more information, visit Walt Disney Theatricals on-line at www.disneyonbroadway.com.