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Beauty and the Beast Makes Headlines…

Beauty and the Beast is making headlines in 2012! First, we had the re-release of the original Disney movie in 3-D, starring the voice-over cast of Paige O’Hara, Richard White, Robby Benson and Jerry Orbach. Next, we’ve just learned that the ABC television network is ordering a Beauty and the Beast update for TV in the spirit of “Once Upon a Time”, another modern fairy tale. Third, we’ve also learned that the CW is also ordering a Beauty and the Beast TV project, this one based on the 1980s CBS drama starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. And who could forget the 2011 film adaptation of the 2007 novel, Beastly? (Er, probably a lot of people)

That’s why we can’t help but think that the true spirit of Beauty and the Beast is heard loudest and clearest on Broadway. Ever since 1994, the stage musical has been playing in some way or another. Though the original Broadway run ended in 2007 (after 5,464 performances), there are various international and amateur productions still running.

In addition, there are also U.S. national tours that you can still catch in your own home town. Most recently, a fourth national tour in the U.S. began in 2010 and actually features the original Broadway creative team, though with all new sets and costumes.

All of your favorite songs from the original movie have been kept in the play, including “Belle”, “Gaston”, “Something There” and “Beauty and the Beast.” In addition to the original film, new songs have been added, such as “Me” (sung by Gaston), “No Matter What” (sung by Belle and Maurice), “Home” (sung by Belle) and “If I Can’t Love Her” sung by the Beast.

One of the reasons the score and lyrics are so perfect is because they were done by the brilliant Broadway pairing of Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman. Alan Menken is still alive and well, and most recently scored the successful Disney movies Enchanted, Tangled and the upcoming Mirror, Mirror in 2012.

Nothing quite measures up to the Beauty and the Beast mythology as imagined by Disney, as it was truly a rare achievement–a full operatic cartoon that managed to effectively combine drama, comedy, terror and tragedy. No wonder it was the first cartoon ever nominated for Best Picture. (And the only cartoon to achieve the final five in 1992!) See this classic love story in person with or without the kids!

Get your Beauty and the Beast tickets today!

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