It was recently announced that Disney’s first and longest-running Broadway musical, Beauty and the Beast, is set to return to Broadway some time in the near future. Beauty and the Beast first debuted on Broadway in 1994 starring Susan Egan as Belle and Terrence Mann as the Beast. Beauty and the Beast ran on Broadway for almost 13 years, placing it in the top ten list of Broadway’s longest running musicals.
The production featured songs from the 1991 film, as well as new songs such as “Home” and “If I Can’t Love Her,” with extended scenes and dialogue as well. An additional solo for Belle titled “A Change in Me” was later written when singer and songwriter Toni Braxton entered the role. Beauty and the Beast won a 1994 Tony Award for costume design, and received eight more nominations in other categories for the coveted award.
While fans have speculated for some time that a revival of the classic was long overdue, there was no official statement until last week, coming from President of Disney Theatrical Productions, Thomas Schumacher, in an interview with ABC News. Keeping his announcement relatively vague, he simply claimed: “We’re getting a revival of Beauty and the Beast…and you can’t keep a secret, because do you know how many people it takes to work on a show?” He added that he is not announcing location or time at the moment, but that he is “deep in it.”
It is unclear whether or not this revival will follow the original 1994 Broadway production’s staging, or if it will borrow ideas from the recent live action film adaption released in March 2017. All three incarnations of the Disney classic were incorporated into one universal stage adaption performed on Disney Cruise Lines later that year, featuring songs and scenes from both films as well as the Broadway show.
For now, Disney fans and Broadway lovers alike can see the three other Disney shows the company currently boasts on Broadway, which includes Frozen, Aladdin and The Lion King.