A tale as old as time, true as it can be. Beauty and the Beast is a Disney classic that has captivated audiences not just onscreen but on Broadway as well. And no the musical does not include the hilarious parody “Bonjour Gurl.” Now the musical is asking you to be their guest when it begins its run at the Hobby Center later this month. Here are 11 things you probably didn’t know about this production.
1. Beauty and the Beast is the ninth longest running show on Broadway with a total of more than 5,400 shows performed.
2. Toni Braxton was the first African American woman to play the role of Belle in 1998.
3. Other notable celebrities that have been in Beauty and the Beast include Hugh Jackman and Donny Osmond who played the role of Gaston, heartthrob Nick Jonas who played Chip.
4. Beauty and the Beast has been performed in over 30 countries around the world.
5. Jackie Chan dubbed the voice of Beast for the Chinese translation of the movie, including the singing.
6. The Beast is a mashup of other animals. He’s got the mane of a lion, the beard and head of a buffalo, the brow of a gorilla, the eyes of a human, the tusks of a wild boar, the body of a bear, and the legs and tail of a wolf. Animator Glen Keane claims “Beast actually has a rainbow bum, but nobody knows that but Belle.”
7. An early version of the film contained no music. Can you imagine?!
8. The finale dance between Belle and the Prince is actually reused animation from the finale dance between Princess Aurora and Prince Phillip in Sleeping Beauty.
9. The Prince’s name is Adam, but it is never mentioned in the movie, just the Broadway musical.
10. Beauty and the Beast is the only traditionally hand-drawn film ever nominated for Best Picture.
11. The songwriting team was comprised of Alan Menken and Howard Ashman. Unfortunately, Ashman was dying of AIDS when penning the soundtrack and passed away in March 1991. The film was released eight months later, which the songwriter never got to see.
Beauty and the Beast is showing at the Hobby Center from April 27 to May 1.