Beauty and the Beast (musical)
|Beauty and the Beast|
Vocal Selections cover art
|Basis||Beauty and the Beast|
|Productions||1993 Houston (tryout)
1995 Los Angeles
1995 US Tour
1997 Mexico City
1998 Buenos Aires
1999 US Tour
2001 UK Tour
2001 US Tour
2002 São Paulo
2005 Netherlands Tour
2007 Mexico City
2009 São Paulo
2010 US Tour
2010 Buenos Aires
2011 Germany Tour
2012 Spain Tour
2014 International Tour
2015 India Tour
2015 The Hague
Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and a book by Linda Woolverton. Based on the Walt Disney Pictures' successful 1991 animated musical film of the same name – which was in turn adapted from the classic French fairy tale by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont – Beauty and the Beast conveys the story of a cold-hearted prince who has been magically transformed into a hideous beast as punishment for his selfish ways. In order to revert into his true human form, the Beast must first earn the love of a bright, beautiful young woman whom he has imprisoned within his castle before his time runs out.
Beauty and the Beast was Disney's first animated film to be fully adapted into a Broadway musical. Original songwriter Menken composed six new songs for the production alongside lyricist Rice, replacing Ashman who had passed away during production of the film. Woolverton, who had written the film's screenplay, adapted her own work into the musical's libretto, and specifically expanded upon the characterization of the Beast. Woolverton also expanded the storylines of the castle staff from servants who had already been transformed into household objects into humans who were gradually turning into inanimate objects. Costumes were designed by Ann Hould-Ward, who based her creations on both the animators' original designs as well as the Rococo art movement after researching how clothing and household objects looked during the 18th century.
After completing tryouts in Houston, Beauty and the Beast premiered on Broadway on April 18, 1994 starring Susan Egan and Terrence Mann as the eponymous Belle and Beast, respectively. The musical opened to mixed reviews from theatre critics, but was a massive commercial success and well received by audiences. Beauty ran on Broadway for 5,461 performances between 1994 and 2007, becoming Broadway's ninth longest-running production in history.The musical has grossed more than $1.4 billion worldwide and played in thirteen countries and 115 cities. It has also become a popular choice for high school productions.
- 1 Development
- 2 Productions
- 3 Plot
- 4 Characters
- 5 Differences between the musical and film
- 6 Musical numbers
- 7 Instrumentation
- 8 Cast information
- 9 Recordings
- 10 Junior version
- 11 Critical reception
- 12 Awards and nominations
- 13 Legacy
- 14 References
- 15 External links
When Beauty and the Beast was released as a film in 1991, critics observed that the film's material had potential to be adapted into a "classic musical comedy". The New York Times film critic Frank Rich famously praised songwriting team Ashman and Menken for writing "The best Broadway musical score of 1991." As a film company interested in expanding itself onto Broadway, Disney saw Beauty and the Beast as "an obvious vehicle."
According to an article in The Houston Chronicle, "The catalyst for Disney's braving the stage was an article by The New York Times theater critic Frank Rich that praised Beauty and the Beast as 1991's best musical ... Theatre Under The Stars executive director Frank Young had been trying to get Disney interested in a stage version of Beauty about the same time Michael Eisner and Jeffrey Katzenberg were mulling over Rich's column. But Young couldn't seem to get in touch with the right person in the Disney empire. Nothing happened till the Disney execs started to pursue the project from their end ... When they asked George Ives, the head of Actors Equity on the West Coast, which Los Angeles theater would be the best venue for launching a new musical, Ives said the best theater for that purpose would be TUTS. Not long after that, Disney's Don Frantz and Bettina Buckley contacted Young, and the partnership was under way." A stage condensation of the film, directed by Robert Jess Roth and choreographed by Matt West, both of whom moved on to the Broadway development, had already been presented at Disneyland at what was then called the Videopolis stage.
In the process of adapting her own animated screenplay into a full libretto for the stage, Woolverton contributed several distinct changes to the material, specifically instilling more "depth" into each main character. Namely, Woolverton made the Beast appear more threatening and sympathetic; the writer expanded upon his characterization by developing the Beast into "a fuller character", aided by the addition of his own new song, "If I Can't Love Her". Meanwhile, Belle was adapted into a more headstrong and determined heroine. Arguably, the most notable alteration involves the enchantress' spell gradually transforming the castle's staff of servants into household objects throughout the course of the musical as opposed to having already done so at the beginning. Consequently, this plot decision changed the story into a tale about people being forced to make difficult decisions, as opposed to a solely a story about man's "'loss of humanity," providing the audience with an opportunity to care about the characters dramatically.
In her Broadway debut, 22 year-old actress Susan Egan was cast as the musical's original Belle. Egan, who had not yet seen the film, had been auditioning for several other Broadway revivals – namely My Fair Lady, Carousel and Grease – at the time, in which she was much more interested, initially reluctant to audition for Beauty and the Beast because she thought that "it was a terrible idea for Disney to put a cartoon on Broadway." Additionally, Egan felt as though she was not attractive enough to play a character touted "the most beautiful girl in the village", however, her agent managed to convince her otherwise. The actress did express some favoritism towards Beauty and the Beast due to her longing to originate a Broadway role. Without any film to reference and a scene between Belle and her father as her side, Egan established that the character is "quirky" and approached the role funnier than how she is depicted in the film, drawing laughs from the producers – who enjoyed her unique interpretation – and earning several callbacks. Meanwhile, her competition of 500 actresses, many of whom were simply imitating O'Hara's interpretation, were gradually eliminated. Egan's final week of auditioning was particularly challenging, during which she sang for Menken for the first time. On the last day, Egan read opposite several different actors auditioning for the Beast and Gaston. As the day neared its end, director Robert Roth advised Egan to perform the role as though the character was "a straight ingénue", which the actress did successfully, and ultimately landed the role by proving to the producers that she was capable of playing the character both ways. Only afterward did Egan finally rent and watch the film in order to "celebrate". Although Egan did not feel pressured about the role, she felt grateful to be surrounded by a supporting cast of Broadway veterans.
Set and costumes
Disney hired costume designer Ann Hould-Ward to design the musical's costumes because the studio enjoyed a "certain aesthetic" she had used in her previous work, and thus allowed her much creative freedom. Hould-Ward accepted Disney's offer because she was interested in seeing exactly how a corporate company producing a Broadway musical for the first time would ultimately "change the Broadway world." Conceptualization began in summer 1992. For research purposes, Disney encouraged Hould-Ward to reference the animated film; she also researched clothing worn throughout the late 18th century, during which the original fairy tale was written, and spent one year discovering how various household items looked during the mid-1700s. Additionally, Hould-Ward visited Beauty and the Beast's original animators, spending one week learning how they created their characters to ensure that they would be recognizable to those who had seen the film. However, the designer also decided that her own creations would not replicate the film's exactly. Basing the costumes on the Rococo art movement, Hould-Ward and her team presented their initial ideas to Eisner and then-Disney president Frank Wells. Once approved, they spent the following year creating prototypes of each major costume. With an unusually long work schedule of two years, Hould-Ward recalled that "this kind of timeline ... wasn't the norm in a Broadway musical" at the time.
The process of designing Beauty and the Beast's costumes was more collaborative between designer and cast than most Broadway productions Hould-Ward had worked on, and she frequently sought input from the performers. Hours were spent in the fitting rooms with the actors making sure they were able to move. Designing Belle's costumes was a decidedly "easy" task for Hould-Ward; wearing standard attire for a Disney heroine at the beginning of the musical, the character's wardrobe originally consists of a long skirt, corseted vest and white collar until these items are ultimately replaced by more elaborate dresses once Belle meets the Beast. Hould-Ward based the character's famous yellow ballgown on several historic portraits. The gown was the first costume built for the production in order to accommodate Disney's mandate to market the dress in photoshoots and commercials starring Egan and Mann, six months prior to rehearsals. Weighing 45 pounds, the dress is a combination of various materials and patterns, including a hoop skirt, silk, brocade, beading, flowers and bows. Too large to fit in Egan's dressing room after the ballroom sequence, undressing required the assistance of three backstage crew members who used wires to hoist the dress up into the rafters, where it would be stored until the next performance. A lot of time was devoted to designing the Beast's costume, the creation of which was especially a challenge due to the requirement to "allow enough of the performer to show through." In addition to hair and prosthetics, a wire frame was used to maintain the costume's shape. The Beast's costume resembles heavy metal fashion until replaced with a black, Oscar de la Renta-inspired velvet suit when he is transformed back into a prince. Hould-Ward designed the leads' costumes from the perspective of her daughter Leah, naming it the "Leah factor", explaining, "it has to have some relationship [to the movie], so that when Leah comes to see it, she remembers from the movie that the Beast was in that blue jacket. Leah expects that blue jacket, and if you don't give it to her, she and a lot of other ten-year-olds are going to be sad". At the same time, the costume designer wanted her designs to be interesting on an intellectual level for parents to enjoy also.
Designing Belle and the Beast's costumes was the least challenging aspect of the process in comparison to the enchanted objects, a combination of intricate wiring, prosthetics and pyrotechnics. Scale was the most prominent "obstacle" for Hould-Ward's designs: "The problem was the presentation of an actor as a life-sized teapot when the characters in the film were so little in comparison". Because the castle's enchanted staff is slowly transforming into objects, shown at various stages of transformation without ever completely becoming the objects themselves, Hould-Ward was required to create several different costumes for each character in order to depict the transformation as the show progresses. Meanwhile, the costume of Lumiere alone was built by a team of forty people, including a creator of the prosthetic candle, hair and Vacuform specialist; the pyrotechnician, man responsible for equipping the costume's pyro unit with butane and man operating the butane tank were each separate people. While transforming animation into real life, Hould-Ward also worked on incorporating the human body each costume, explaining, "I wanted the reality of the real person rather than the fantasy of the object ... The essence of my job is to allow my real actors to take you to this fantastical place." A system of wired frames was used to help the actors support their characters' heavy garments.
Early during production, Disney relied on heavy prosthetics and elaborate costumes in an attempt to make the musical resemble the film as closely as possible. In an attempt to replicate the film's famous movie poster, Egan was dressed in flats while Mann was positioned on stilts to establish a more dramatic height difference. According to Egan, the studio "didn't trust the audience's ability to suspend disbelief, something theater-goers are routinely asked to do." However, the company finally began to relent as the production neared Houston tryouts after a final run-through during which the actors did not wear costumes; thus, the prosthetics were gradually lessened and replaced by make up for the Beast and enchanted objects during 1993 previews. Disney was outraged when, after their first performance at the Palace Theatre, The New York Times published caricaturist Al Hirschfeld's line drawing interpretation of Belle and the Beast's pose, in which Belle's yellow gown was colored pink, and the Beast's tuxedo appeared greenish as opposed to royal blue. When Disney confronted Hirschfeld, the artist defended his work, explaining, "The costumes may have been blue and yellow, but they made me feel green and pink."
Original Broadway production
The musical opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994, and ran there until September 5, 1999, originally starring Susan Egan. The show then transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 11, 1999, with an official opening date of November 16, 1999. The musical closed on July 29, 2007 after 46 previews and 5,461 performances, and is Broadway's ninth-longest running production in history (as of December 2014[update]). The production holds the record of being the longest running production at both the Palace Theatre, where it opened, and the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where it closed its Broadway run. The production cost an estimated $12 million, arguably higher, becoming the most costly Broadway musical at the time.
Directed by Robert Jess Roth with choreography by Matt West and assisted by Dan Mojica, the original Broadway cast included Susan Egan as Belle, Terrence Mann as the Beast, Burke Moses as Gaston, Gary Beach as Lumière and Beth Fowler as Mrs. Potts. Orchestrations were by Danny Troob (after his own orchestrations and arrangements of the film), scenic designer was Stan Meyer, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, lighting designer Natasha Katz, sound was by T. Richard Fitzgerald, hair designer David H. Lawrence, and prosthetics were by John Dods. Illusions were by Jim Steinmeyer and John Gaughan, and pyrotechnic design was by Tyler Wymer.
The Broadway production closed to make way for Disney's next musical venture, The Little Mermaid. With Disney set to open its Broadway version of The Little Mermaid on November 3, 2007 at the time, it was believed that having two Disney princess films on Broadway at the same time would divide audiences and cause competition between the two shows. At this point, Disney also had three other shows running at the same time: The Lion King, Tarzan, and Mary Poppins. It was reported that Disney Theatrical planned to revive the show on Broadway for the 2008 holiday season, but Disney did not pursue this.
Original London production
The West End production opened at London's Dominion Theatre on April 29, 1997, starring Julie-Alanah Brighten as Belle and Alasdair Harvey as the Beast. It also featured Burke Moses as Gaston, Derek Griffiths as Lumiere, Mary Millar as Mrs Potts, Norman Rossington as Maurice, Barry James as Cogsworth, Di Botcher as Madame De La Grande Bouche, Richard Gauntlett as LeFou, and Rebecca Thornhill as Babette.
Over the course of the production, notable replacements included Michelle Gayle and Annalene Beechey as Belle, John Barrowman and Earl Carpenter as the Beast, Alex Bourne as Gaston, and Billy Boyle and Terry Doyle as Maurice. The production ended on December 11, 1999.
The show had four US national tours. The first opened on November 15, 1995 and closed in 1999. It featured Kim Huber as Belle, Fred Inkley as the Beast, Patrick Page as Lumiere and Paige Davis as Babette. It's worth noting that Patrick Page and Paige Davis met and fell in love during the tour. A second national tour opened in 1999 with Susan Owen as Belle and Grant Norman as The Beast. This production closed in 2003. The third national tour opened in 2001 and closed in 2003. This production starred Jennifer Shraeder as Belle and Roger Befeler as the Beast with Marc G. Dalio as Gaston. Notable replacements on the tours have included Sarah Litzsinger, Erin Dilly and Danyelle Bossardet as Belle. The three touring companies visited 137 venues in 90 North American cities. About 5.5 million people in the United States and Canada saw these tours. The fourth national tour of Beauty and the Beast began February 2010, opening in Providence, Rhode Island starring Liz Shivener as Belle and Justin Glaser as the Beast. Under the direction of the original Broadway creative team, the show featured all new sets and costumes. The tour was the longest in the show's history, running until July 2016.
The UK National tour (prior to the closure of the West End Production in 1999) began on November 2, 2001 at the Empire Theatre in Liverpool with stops in Bristol, Birmingham, Dublin, Southampton, Manchester and ended on April 12, 2003 at the Playhouse Theatre in Edinburgh. The tour starred Annalene Beechey (reprising her role from the London production) as Belle, Alistair Robins as the Beast, Ben Harlow as Gaston, Julia Goss as Mrs Potts, Stephen Matthews as Lumiere Barry James (reprising his role from the London production) as Cogsworth, Billy Boyle (reprising his role from the London production) as Maurice, Karen Davies as Madame De La Grande Bouche, Kate Graham (reprising her role from the London production) as Babette, Anthony Clegg as LeFou and Oliver Taylor (reprising his role from the London production) and Sion Eifion sharing the role of Chip. Notable replacements included Dianne Pilkington as Belle, Alex Bourne as the Beast, Earl Carpenter as Gaston, Marilyn Cutts as Mrs. Potts, Richard Tate as Maurice and Drew Varley as LeFou.
- Los Angeles
A Los Angeles production opened at the Shubert Theatre on April 12, 1995 and closed on September 29, 1996. Most of the original Broadway cast, including Susan Egan, Terrence Mann, Gary Beach, Beth Fowler, Burke Moses and Tom Bosley reprised their roles. Notable replacements included James Stacy Barbour as the Beast. The sets in this production were widely considered to be the largest out of all the musical's productions in the world. After the show closed in Los Angeles, all of the sets were transferred for the production in Mexico City in 1997.
The Toronto production opened at the Princess of Wales Theatre on August 8, 1995 and closed in 1998. The production starred Kerry Butler as Belle and Chuck Wagner as the Beast, and Terry Doyle as Maurice. Notable replacements included Melissa Thomson as Belle and Steve Blanchard as the Beast. The lesser known Halifax production at the Neptune Theatre was the longest running production in the theatre's history.
- United Kingdom
Beauty and the Beast was staged at the Warwick Arts Centre, February 8–11, 2012.[needs update]
Beauty and the Beast has been performed in more than 30 countries, including Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Philippines, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and United States. Over 35 million people have seen the show worldwide and it has grossed more than $1.7 billion.
On July 15, 1995 the musical began its original Australian run in Melbourne at The Princess Theatre, before moving on to Sydney. The original Australian cast included Michael Cormick as The Beast, Rachael Beck as Belle, Hugh Jackman as Gaston, and Ernie Bourne as Maurice.
In 1995, the musical opened in Japan and is performed by the Shiki Theatre Company. The musical continues to tour Japan.
In December 1997, the musical opened in Stuttgart at the Palladium Theatre, Stuttgart and played there until December 22, 2000. Leah Delos Santos played Belle and Uwe Kröger played the Beast and Marc G. Dalio played Gaston.
In 1999, the musical opened in China.
On June 16, 2005, the musical began its Philippine run at the Meralco Theater. Produced by Atlantis Productions, it featured KC Concepcion alternating with Karel Marquez as Belle, Jett Pangan as The Beast, and Calvin Millado as Gaston.
In South America, Argentina was the first country to produce it, with Marisol Otero as Belle, Juan Rodó as Beast, Diego Jaraz as Gaston, Gustavo Monje as LeFou, Pablo Lizaso as Lumière, Mónica Nuñez as Mrs. Potts, Omar Pini as Cogsworth, Alejandra Radano as Babette and Rodolfo Valss as Maurice. It ran from November 26, 1998 at the Teatro Ópera in Buenos Aires until August 15, 1999, before opening again in 2010. Brazil was the second country to host the musical. Disney had plans to bring it to the country in 1999, after the success in Argentina, but nobody really knew if it would work. Three years later, in 2002, Beauty and the Beast finally opened in Brazil at Teatro Abril, one of the biggest theaters in the country. It was a huge hit, for more than one and a half years, it was presented with Kiara Sasso, playing Belle and Saulo Vasconcelos playing the Beast. In 2009, a new Belle and a new Beast were cast, Lissah Martins and Ricardo Vieira, as the musical came back to Brazil, Kiara Sasso was playing Maria in The Sound of Music. Beauty and the Beast remained for six months at Teatro Abril. Even though the play was brought back as a way to try to recoup some of the money lost in Brazilian's version of Miss Saigon, this second incarnation of Beauty and the Beast failed to create any critical buzz, or to be a box office success.
In Spain there have been three productions of the show. The first one, based on the original Broadway production, had its Madrid debut on December 2, 1999 at Teatro Lope de Vega. The original cast included Xenia Reguant (later replaced by Julia Möller) as Belle, Carlos Marín (later replaced by Joe Luciano) as Beast, Lisardo Guarinos (later replaced by Manuel Bandera) as Gaston, Víctor Ullate Roche as LeFou, Germán Torres as Lumière, Kirby Navarro as Mrs Potts, David Venancio Muro as Cogsworth, Dulcinea Juárez as Babette, Laura Inclán as Madame de la Grande Bouche and Miguel de Grandy as Maurice. After a successful run of 27 months and about 900 performances, the production finally closed on March 3, 2002, becoming the longest-running musical ever in Madrid at that time. In 2007, a second version produced by Stage Entertainment premiered on October 3, at Teatro Coliseum, Madrid, for a limited run of 6 months, but the closing was postponed due to a successful season. The original cast included Julia Möller reprising her role as Belle (later replaced by María Adamuz), David Ordinas as Beast, Pablo Puyol as Gaston, Raúl Peña as LeFou, Armando Pita as Lumière, Angels Jiménez as Mrs. Potts (later replaced by Rita Barber), Esteban Oliver as Cogsworth, Silvia Luchetti as Babette, María José Oquendo as Madame de la Grande Bouche and Lorenzo Valverde as Maurice. The production closed on January 11, 2009 and was transferred to Barcelona, where it ran from February 26, 2009 to January 10, 2010, at BTM, with some changes in the cast, including Mercè Martínez as Mrs. Potts, Marta Capel as Babette, Patricia Paisal as Madame de la Grande Bouche and Albert Muntanyola as Maurice. In 2012, the Stage Entertainment version was relaunched as a touring production, beginning performances on September 6, at Teatro Calderón, Valladolid. The original cast of this third Spanish production included Talía del Val as Belle, Ignasi Vidal as Beast, Daniel Diges as Gaston, Raúl Peña as LeFou, Diego Rodríguez as Lumière, Mone as Mrs. Potts, Frank Capdet as Cogsworth, Marta Capel as Babette, Eva Diago as Madame de la Grande Bouche and Enrique R. del Portal as Maurice.
In 2005, Disney and Stage Entertainment produced a new version of the show using brand new sets and costumes. After touring the Netherlands and playing in Antwerp, Belgium, Disney and Stage Entertainment brought the show to Berlin, Germany in 2006 after a (approx.) one year-run at the Metronom Theater in Oberhausen. This production opened in 2007 in Madrid, Spain and in 2009 in Milan, Italy, with Arianna as Belle and Michel Altieri as the Beast. The Broadway production played a second time in Mexico City beginning in September 2007 and in Hiroshima, Japan beginning in February 2008. The Broadway production opened in South Africa in September 2008 and ran until March 2009. In 2004, Disney began to license the show to other companies for touring, and the show has been performed by professional and amateur companies in many countries.
Beginning October 2014, Disney Theatrical Productions, NETworks and Broadway Entertainment Group launched an international tour in celebration of Beauty and the Beast's 20th anniversary on stage. The tour opened at the Zorlu Center in Istanbul, Turkey and close on January 2016 at Dubai World Trade Centre, having visited Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Italy, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, China, Taiwan, Egypt, Lebanon, Romania, and Qatar
The show's rights became available (in association with Josef Weinberger Ltd.) to amateur performing groups and regional musical societies. The show has been performed in numerous countries, by theatre companies of both an amateur and professional level.
On a cold winter night, an old beggar woman comes upon a glorious castle belonging to a young prince. She asks the master of the castle to allow her to stay the night, away from the cold, and in return she will give him a single rose, but the prince is vain and uncaring and turns her away solely for her appearance. As he does this, she warns him not to be fooled by appearances, as true beauty lies within, only to be rejected again. Seeing his horrible heart for what it truly is, she transforms into a beautiful enchantress and turns the prince into a hideous Beast and his servants into various household objects. She gives him the rose to use as an hour-glass. The only way he can break the spell is to learn to love another and earn her love in return by the time the last petal falls ("Prologue").
10 years later, a beautiful young woman named Belle makes her way into town one morning in order to get a book from the local book seller. On the way she expresses her wish to live in a world like her books, full of adventure, while the townspeople note her unparalleled beauty but find her love of books odd ("Belle"). Belle has also attracted the attentions of Gaston (the local hunter and town hero) who admires her only for her beauty and not her intelligence.
Belle, however, is not oblivious to her peers' views of her. She voices her concerns about it to her father, Maurice, an eccentric inventor. He assures his daughter that she is anything but strange ("No Matter What"). The two then put the finishing touches on his invention and Maurice heads off to an invention fair donning a scarf knitted for him by Belle ("No Matter What (Reprise)"). In the woods, Maurice becomes lost when a pack of wolves attacks him; he finds his way to a mysterious castle on the edge of the Crossroads and enters. The servants of the castle include Lumière, a maître d' turned into a candelabra, Cogsworth, the head of household turned into a clock, Babette, a maid turned into a feather duster that still seems to retain her flirtatious tendencies, Mrs. Potts, the head of the kitchen turned into a tea pot, and Chip, the son of Mrs. Potts. They welcome him, but the horrid Beast arrives and locks Maurice away in the dungeon for trespassing.
Back in town, Gaston proposes to Belle, which she politely rejects ("Me"). Appalled by Gaston's forwardness, Belle once again voices her need for a life outside this provincial life ("Belle (Reprise)"). Gaston's sidekick, LeFou, returns from the woods wearing the scarf Belle knitted for Maurice. Belle realizes her father is in danger and heads into the woods to look for him. She ends up at the castle where she finds her father locked away in a dungeon. She makes a deal with the Beast, Maurice goes free but she remains instead. They agree and Maurice is sent back to town without being allowed to say goodbye. Belle is given a guest room and ordered by the Beast to join him for dinner. She mourns her situation ("Home"), but Mrs. Potts and Madame de la Grande Bouche, an operatic wardrobe, attempt to cheer her up ("Home (Reprise)").
Back in town, at the local tavern, Gaston sulks at his loss of a bride. LeFou and the patrons attempt to cheer him up ("Gaston"), when Maurice rushes in claiming a Beast has Belle locked away, they laugh at him but Gaston formulates a plan ("Gaston (Reprise)"). Back at the castle, the Beast grows impatient as Belle has yet to join him for dinner. Cogsworth informs him she refuses to come, after a shouting match between Belle and the Beast (which ends in a victory for Belle) he tells her if she cannot eat with him then she will not eat at all. In his quarters, he sulks and notes his fate should the spell not break ("How Long Must This Go On?"). Eventually Belle does become hungry and ventures into the kitchen where the servants offer her dinner despite their master's orders. They treat her to an amazing cabaret show ("Be Our Guest").
After dinner, Belle gets a tour of the castle courtesy of Cogsworth and Lumière, her curiosity leads her to enter the West Wing, a place the Beast told her was forbidden. Mesmerized by a mysterious rose floating in a bell jar, she reaches out to touch it but before she can, the Beast stops her and orders her to get out accidentally shoving her in the process. Fearing for her life, Belle flees from the castle. Realizing his deadly mistake, the Beast knows he will be a monster forever if he cannot learn to love her ("If I Can't Love Her").
In the woods, Belle is attacked by wolves and is only rescued when the Beast comes to her aid, but he is injured during the fight and collapses ("Entr'acte/Wolf Chase"). Instead of taking the chance to run home Belle helps him back to the castle. She cleans his injuries and after a brief argument about whose fault this is, the Beast thanks her for her kindness and thus their friendship is born. Wanting to give her a thank-you gift, the Beast gives Belle his huge library, which excites her. She notes a change in the Beast's personality as the servants note a change in Belle and the Beast's relationship ("Something There"). They express their hope of being human once more ("Human Again") while Belle asks the Beast to accompany her to dinner that night.
Back in the village, Gaston meets with the asylum owner Monsieur D'Arque. They plan to lock Maurice away to blackmail Belle into marrying Gaston ("Maison des Lunes"). In the castle, the Beast and Belle attend a lovely dinner and personal ball, where they dance together in the ballroom ("Beauty and the Beast"). After, the Beast (who plans to tell Belle he loves her) asks her if she is happy here, she responds positively but notes that she misses her father. He offers her his Magic Mirror to view him. She sees that Maurice is sick and lost in the woods and fears for his life. Even though The Beast knows there is only a few hours left till the last petal falls from the rose, he allows Belle to leave in order to save her father; she departs after a tearful goodbye ("If I Can't Love Her (Reprise)").
Belle finds her father and brings him back to their house in the village. After she is able to nurse him back to health, she explains the transformation she seems to have gone through while she was with the Beast ("A Change in Me"). A mob arrives, led by Gaston to take Maurice to the asylum. Belle proves her father's sanity by showing the townspeople the Beast is real using the Magic Mirror, but doesn't realize the error in her gesture. The townspeople immediately fear the Beast, but Belle insists he's gentle and kind. Gaston catches her tone and recognizes the Beast as his rival for Belle's affections and organizes the mob to kill the Beast ("Mob Song").
At the castle, the servants are able to keep the lynch mob at bay but Gaston breaks through and finds the Beast in his tower. He engages in a fight with him, mercilessly beating and taunting him ("Battle"). The Beast has lost the will to live at Belle's departure. As Gaston moves in for the killing blow, Belle arrives. The Beast immediately turns on Gaston and is prepared to kill him, but spares his life after seeing the fear in his eyes. The Beast and Belle are reunited, but this reunion is cut short as Gaston plunges his dagger into the Beast's back. This act of violence causes Gaston to lose his footing and he falls to his death.
On the balcony, Belle assures the Beast he will live but they both know she is helpless to save him. She begs him not to leave her because she has found home in his company ("End Duet"), but despite this, he dies; Belle sobs on his body and says she loves him just before the last rose petal falls. A transformation takes place ("Transformation") and the Beast is alive and human once more. Though Belle does not recognize him at first, she looks into his eyes and sees the Beast within and they kiss. The two sing of how their lives have changed because of love and they dance once more as the company, now changed back to their human form, gathers in the ballroom ("Beauty and the Beast (Reprise)").
|Beast/Prince||A Prince transformed into a terrifying beast for his lack of compassion; hot-tempered and commanding, but with a warm, loving heart buried far beneath his gruff exterior.|
|Belle||A vibrant, intelligent young beauty who wants much more in life than living in a small town. She is perceived to be quite odd.|
|Maurice||Belle's loving, eccentric inventor father.|
|Gaston||The story's antagonist. The vain, egotistical, narcissistic, ultra-masculine villain determined to marry Belle.|
|Lefou||Gaston's bumbling sidekick.|
|Lumiere||A suave, French, debonair enchanted candelabra. The maître d' of the castle.|
|Cogsworth||A tightly-wound, enchanted stuffy mantle clock and head of the Beast's castle.|
|Mrs. Potts||A warm-hearted, maternal enchanted teapot. The cook of the castle.|
|Babette||A saucy, flirtatious featherduster who seeks Lumiere's affections. The maid of the castle.|
|Madame de la Grande Bouche||A former opera diva turned into a wardrobe.|
|Monsuier D'Arque||The creepy, scheming proprietor of the local insane asylum, the Maison des Lunes.|
|Chip||A young teacup; Mrs. Potts' son.|
|Ensemble||Silly Girls, Enchanted Objects, Townspeople, Tavern Patrons, Mob.|
Differences between the musical and film
- In the film's prologue it is stated that "the rose she (the Enchantress) had offered, truly an enchanted rose, that is, would bloom until the Beast's 21st year." In the stage adaptation this is changed. "The rose she (the Enchantress) had offered was truly an enchanted rose which would bloom for many years."
- During the opening song "Belle", instead of sitting at a fountain and singing about the contents of her favorite book to a passing herd of sheep, Belle grabs the arm of a nearby townsperson and shows them instead.
- The three town Bimbettes plead Gaston to choose one of them over Belle on his way to her cottage – he smugly assures them that his marriage to Belle will have no effect on any future rendezvous he will most likely have with them.
- Gaston's marriage proposal to Belle takes place in her front yard as she attempts to hang laundry; there are also no villagers present to witness Gaston's humiliation until after she runs inside.
- Philippe the horse is removed from the story. Instead, Belle knits Maurice a scarf for good luck for his trip to the inventors' fair. After he becomes prisoner of The Beast, the scarf is found in the woods by LeFou – having been sent there by Gaston to fetch a deer for the feast after his presumed marriage to Belle – and worn back to town (not knowing who it belongs to), thereby alerting Belle to her father's disappearance. She heads into the woods on foot.
- Maurice's wood-chopping machine is not located in the basement of the home he and Belle share – instead it is on the back of a bicycle-like contraption, which he rides to the fair in place of Philippe.
- LeFou sings many of the male villagers' lines during "Gaston".
- The Featherduster's name is Babette. In the film, it never says her name just like the wardrobe (though in one of the sequels, her name is said to be Fifi).
- The Wardrobe in Belle's room (unnamed in the Disney film) is called Madame de la Grande Bouche and revealed to be a former famous opera diva.
- The dog-turned-footstool of the castle is not present in this version.
- Chip the teacup, though present, has his role greatly diminished due to the difficulty of pulling off his character convincingly. The head of his actor is usually stuck through the tops of tables and rolling carts wearing a teacup-shaped helmet. He is not seen individually mobile until after the spell is broken and he is human again.
- The roles of LeFou, Monsieur D'Arque, Babette, and the Wardrobe have been expanded.
- Belle and the Beast's argument about her joining him for dinner takes place inside of her bedroom – instead of opposite sides of a closed door.
- Belle joins Lumière and the other dancing dishes during "Be Our Guest", instead of remaining seated at a table and merely observing the spectacle.
- The magic behind the transformations is slightly modified: Instead of being fully transformed (as shown in the movie), the characters are slowly transforming into their respective objects. Lumière, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts, and Babette lament this fact, revealing that some of the servants have already completely transformed and cannot speak, see, or move; they fear the same will happen to them if the spell is not broken soon.
- As Lumière and Cogsworth take Belle on a tour (right before she sneaks off to explore the West Wing), the Beast makes his way to her room with a plate of food in hopes of making amends with her. However, he overhears Belle voicing her distaste of him, and throws the plate away in anger and sulks off.
- A scene only briefly seen in the background in the film is expanded upon, where Belle teaches the Beast to read. Additionally, the book they read in the film is Romeo & Juliet while in the musical it is King Arthur.
- During "The Mob Song", Belle and Maurice are not imprisoned in their own basement; instead Belle decides to get a head start on the angry villagers and sneak off to the castle halfway through the musical number but Maurice warns her not to go alone and goes with her.
- During the fight on the roof, Belle is physically below Gaston and Beast, calling up to them rather than reaching down from a higher balcony.
- Gaston repeatedly stabs Beast in the back rather than only once before losing his balance.
* New song or instrumental cue
† Expanded vocal or instrumental content, using either cut lyrics by Ashman or dance arrangements by Glen Kelly, or both.
‡ "Human Again" was written by Menken and Ashman for the movie, but was cut, due to the complications it made on the film's timeline. It was repurposed for the Broadway play, and on account of the musical's great success, an entirely new animated sequence based on the Broadway version was set to this song and inserted into 2002's Special Edition DVD release.
§ "A Change in Me" was written into the show in 1998 for the debut of Toni Braxton and was retained thereafter.
# not in the Junior Broadway show
Music Theatre International offers two orchestrations for Beauty and the Beast.
The principal, larger orchestration is based on the original Broadway orchestration. It is scored for three synthesizers, a drum kit, a percussion section, double bass, three woodwind players, three French horns in F, two trumpets in B-flat, trombone, divided violins, cellos, and harp. The first woodwind player doubles on flute and piccolo, the second on English horn and oboe, and the third on clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute. The trombonist doubles on bass trombone and tuba.
The original Broadway orchestration featured two additional woodwind players. The first played flute and piccolo, the second oboe and English horn, the third piccolo, flute and clarinet in B-flat, the fourth piccolo, flute, clarinet in B-flat and bass clarinet in B-flat, and the fifth on bassoon and contrabassoon. The excised reed parts were used for the synthesizer parts upon their removal for the licensed orchestration.
The optional reduced orchestration is scored for two synthesizers, a percussion section, double bass, three woodwind players, a trumpet, a French horn, and solo violin and cello.
- Original Broadway Cast
- Belle – Susan Egan
- Beast – Terrence Mann
- Lumière- Gary Beach
- Cogsworth- Heath Lamberts
- Mrs. Potts- Beth Fowler
- Gaston – Burke Moses
- Lefou- Kenny Raskin
- Chip – Brian Press
- Babette- Stacey Logan
- Madame de la Grande Bouche – Eleanor Glockner
- Maurice- Tom Bosley
- Monsieur D'Arque – Gordon Stanley
- Silly Girls- Paige Price, Sarah Solie Shannon, Linda Talcott
- Beast: Chuck Wagner (1997–1998), James Barbour (1998–1999), Jeff McCarthy (1995–1997 & 2004), Steve Blanchard (who played the Beast for the last eight years of the Broadway run).
- Belle: Sarah Uriarte Berry (1995–1996, 2006), Kerry Butler (1996–1997), Deborah Gibson (1997–1998), Toni Braxton (1998–1999; first African American to play Belle on Broadway), Andrea McArdle (1999–2000), Sarah Litzsinger (2000–2002, 2003 & 2006), Jamie-Lynn Sigler (2002–2003, Broadway debut), Megan McGinnis (2003–2004), Christy Carlson Romano (2004), Ashley Brown (2005–2006, Broadway debut), Anneliese van der Pol (2007, Broadway debut, closing cast). A total of seventeen actresses have played the part of Belle in the Broadway production, with Litzsinger playing it the longest.
- Gaston: Marc Kudisch (1995), Steve Blanchard (1997 – he later played Beast), Christopher Sieber (2001), Donny Osmond (2006 & final Broadway performance)
- Lumière: Lee Roy Reams (1995), Meshach Taylor (1998–1999, Broadway debut), Paul Schoeffler (2001), Bryan Batt (2001–2002), Patrick Page (1999–2001 & 2003), Jacob Young (2006, Broadway debut), John Tartaglia (2006–2007), David DeVries (closing cast)
- Cogsworth: Jonathan Freeman (2006–2007)
- Babette: Ann Mandrella (2007 closing cast)
- Chip: Nick Jonas (2002), Jeremy Bergman (2002–2003), Trevor Braun (Longest-running Chip), Harrison Chad, Henry Hodges, Andrew Keenan-Bolger
The Original Broadway Cast Recording was released on April 26, 1994. The CD included Susan Egan as Belle, Terrence Mann as Beast, Burke Moses as Gaston, Gary Beach as Lumière and Beth Fowler as Mrs Potts.
The Original Australian Cast Recording was released in 1995. The principal cast included Rachael Beck as Belle, Michael Cormick as Beast, Hugh Jackman as Gaston, Ernie Bourne as Maurice, Toni Lamond as Madame De La Grande Bouche, Grant Smith as Lumière, Robyn Arthur as Mrs. Potts and Bert Newton as Cogsworth.
The Original Vienna Cast Recording was released in 1996. The principal cast included Ethan Freeman as Beast, Caroline Vasicek as Belle, Kevin Tarte as Gaston, Viktor Gernot as Lumière, Ann Mandrella as Babette, and Rosita Mewis as Mrs. Potts.
The Original London Cast Recording was released in 1997. The principal cast included Julie-Alanah Brighten as Belle, Alasdair Harvey as Beast, Burke Moses as Gaston, Derek Griffiths as Lumière and Mary Millar as Mrs. Potts.
The Original Stuttgart Cast Recording was released in 1998. The principal cast included Uwe Kroger as Beast and Leah Delos Santos as Belle and Ann Mandrella as Babette.
The Original Madrid Cast Recording was released in 1999. The principal cast included Xenia Reguant as Belle, Carlos Marín as Beast, Lisardo Guarinos as Gaston, Víctor Ullate Roche as LeFou, Germán Torres as Lumière, David Venancio Muro as Cogsworth and Kirby Navarro as Mrs Potts. A second cast recording for the new production was released in May 2008, starring Julia Möller as Belle, David Ordinas as Beast, Pablo Puyol as Gaston, Raúl Peña as LeFou, Armando Pita as Lumière, Esteban Oliver as Cogsworth and Angels Jiménez as Mrs. Potts.
A "junior" version of the musical for middle and high school students was published by MTI. This version only included a selected number of the songs, including "Belle", "Belle (Reprise)", "Home", "Home (Tag)", "Gaston", "Gaston (Reprise)", "Be Our Guest", "Something There", "Human Again", "Beauty and the Beast", "The Mob Song", "Home (Reprise)", and "Beauty and the Beast (Reprise)". Also in "Belle (Reprise)", The Silly Girls take Belle's part in the beginning of the song instead of Belle having to sing the whole song. Also in "Something There", Madame de la Grande Bouche and Babette sing as well.
Reception towards the tryouts in Houston were so enthusiastic that the production was extended for two weeks. Jerome Weeks of Variety responded to a show with a positive review, praising the performances of Egan, Mann and Moses, as well as the Beast's new song "If I Can't Love Her". At the same time, Weeks felt that at times the production "gets close to slipping into a big-budget kiddie show or magic act with its overdone showbiz glitz and sparkly stage-illusion effects", but in the end predicated that "'Beauty and the Beast' could well be the big new musical hit this Broadway season has been waiting for." However, In 1994, Beauty and the Beast finally premiered on Broadway to reviews that ranged from mixed to negative. Reactions from the New York theatre community and Broadway producers were particularly harsh, ridiculing Disney for deciding to produce the musical themselves as opposed to enlisting traditional theatre companies. Egan recalled that "the same five families [had] produced Broadway shows for a hundred years and Disney shook that up."
Theatre critics concurred that Beauty and the Beast was a "great spectacle, but not great theater". Likening the musical to the Empire State Building, David Richards of The New York Times called the show "hardly a triumph of art, but it'll probably be a whale of a tourist attraction." While awarding specific praise towards its musical numbers, choreography, costumes and cast – particularly Mann's ability to "convey the delicacy of awakening love" despite the physical demands of his costume, at the same time Richards criticized the production's set and special effects for lacking subtlety, ultimately accusing them of leaving little "to the imagination". Richards concluded, "The result is a sightseer's delight, which isn't the same thing as a theatergoer's dream." Also writing for The New York Times, Vincent Canby disparaged the musical entirely as "relentlessly bland, busy, upbeat and robotlike", criticizing the production for resembling "a dinner theater." Canby felt that the new Menken-Rice songs were "inferior" to the originals, likened the special effects to Fourth of July sparklers, criticized the sound engineering for ranging from too loud to barely audible, and panning Woolveton's book for failing to supplement her screenplay. Minor praise was awarded to the performances of Lamberts, Beach and Fowler, as well as Mann's climactic beast-to-prince transformation. In addition to predicting that Beauty and the Beast would be derided by traditional Broadway theatre-goers and critics alike, Variety writer Jeremy Gerard was largely negative in his own review. While admitting that the production "boasts several real pluses", Gerard criticized the show for appearing "bloated, padded, gimmick-ridden, tacky and ... utterly devoid of imagination." The critic voiced his strong disapproval of the costumes while dismissing the set as "something designed to be seen by people in moving seats, maybe at Disneyland", panning West's choreography and ultimately deriding Roth's directing and blocking of actors who "look generally like they're following dotted lines on the stage."
Subsequent productions have gradually attracted kinder remarks; that national tours in particular have been well received. Reviewing a performance of the musical at the Shubert Theatre in Los Angeles in 1995, Tom Jacobs of Variety wrote, "Born in Hollywood as an animated film, Disney's version of 'Beauty and the Beast' has returned home as an opulent stage musical, a year after its Broadway bow. Both good and bad choices have been made in adapting the 1991 film, but with its outstanding performances, fantastic production values and memorable score, this show should warm the hearts of all but the most curmudgeonly theatergoers." However, Jacobs felt that the production suffered from the lack of danger felt watching the film. After having been left unimpressed upon viewing the original Broadway production, Variety's Matt Wolf was pleasantly surprised by the musical's West End debut one year later. Wolf wrote,
Awards and nominations
"Be Our Guest" was used as the commercial for the 1994 Tony Awards. Despite having been nominated for a total of nine individual awards, Beauty and the Beast was ultimately shunned at the ceremony, winning only one award – Best Costume Design – for Hould-Ward.
Original Broadway production
Original London production
|1998||Laurence Olivier Award||Best New Musical||Won|
|Best Theatre Choreographer||Matt West||Nominated|
|Best Costume Design||Ann Hould-Ward||Nominated|
Beauty and the Beast inspired several other major Hollywood studios to produce Broadway musical adaptations of their films. Some detractors thought it would have been a one-time event, but the results turned out to be quite the opposite. Beauty and the Beast is considered to be Broadway's first legitimate family-oriented show. The family demographic the musical established led to productions such as Aladdin and Maltida. After Beauty and the Beast, Egan would famously go on to voice the character Meg in the Disney's animated film Hercules in 1997, establishing herself as a popular voice actress.
- Zoglin, Richard.Bye Bye, Birdie. Hello, Rent"TIME magazine, May 15, 2008. Reported in its May 15, 2008 issue that this musical ranked as the fourth most frequently produced musical by U.S. high schools in 2007.
- Weeks, Jeremy (December 12, 1993). "Review: 'Beauty and the Beast'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- Culwell, Logan (April 16, 2015). "Where Are the Stars of Disney's Beauty and the Beast Now?". Playbill. Playbill Inc. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Adler, Andrew (December 22, 2015). "Ann Hould-Ward's costumes give 'Disney's Beauty and the Beast,' at the Saenger Theater Dec. 29-Jan. 3". The Times-Picayune. NOLA Media Group. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Evans, Everett (1993-11-28). "Disney Debut; First stage musical, Beauty, will test waters in Houston". The Houston Chronicle. p. 8.
- Murray, Matthew (April 18, 2004). "Beauty and the Beast". Talkin' Broadway. TALKIN' BROADWAY. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Gerard, Jeremy (April 19, 1994). "Review: 'Disney's Beauty and the Beast'". Variety. Variety Media, LLC. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- Robinson, Gaile (March 16, 1995). "BY DESIGN : A Beastly Assignment : How to make a human-sized teapot and a candelabra? Ann Hould-Ward used fancy wiring, prosthetics and pryotechnics to make the the stage production of 'Beauty and the Beast' come alive.". Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- "Susan Egan: Belle, Meg, Glamour and Goop - Part 1". The Mouse Castle. Mouse Castle Media. July 29, 2012. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
- North, Jesse (October 25, 2011). "Susan Egan on her dirt-catching days as a Disney Princess and humble motherhood". Stage Rush. Stage Rush. Retrieved September 18, 2016.
- Hodgins, Paul (November 12, 2010). "'Beauty' was no beast for costume designer". The Orange County Register. The Orange County Register. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- Conter, Jenna (May 23, 2013). "Beauty and the Beast comes to Halifax - will you be their guest?". Metro News. Free Daily News Group Inc. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- "Beauty & The Beast from Screen to Stage". Thread By Thread: Costumes on Screen. September 27, 2011. Retrieved September 19, 2016.
- Egan, Susan. "How Beauty and the Beast Prepared Me For #TheDress". Susan Egan. Susan Egan. Retrieved September 20, 2016.
- "Long Runs on Broadway". Playbill. December 14, 2014. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- Richards, David (April 19, 1994). "Review/Theater: Beauty and the Beast; Disney Does Broadway, Dancing Spoons and All". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
- Haun, Harry (July 6, 2007). "Bye Bye Beauty". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
- Hill, Jim (June 3, 2008). ""High School Musical 5 & 6" ?! "Beauty & the Beast" headed back to Broadway ?!". www.jimhillmedia.com. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' Lights Up London's West End Tonight" (Press release). PR Newswire. April 29, 1997. Retrieved August 26, 2007.
- "Olivier Winners 1998". Olivier Awards. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
-  Theater Review: Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' (San Francisco)
- Gans, Andrew."New Beauty and Beast Tour Now Playing Providence; Peoria Is Next" Playbill, February 12, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- Jones, Kenneth. "MTI Will License Disney's Aida and Beauty and the Beast for Regional and Amateur Markets" Playbill.com, September 22, 2003
- South Africa production beautyandthebeast.co.za, accessed September 5, 2011 Archived August 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
- Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST to Make French-Language Debut in Paris, October 2013
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- "Beauty and the Beast musical comes to Dubai". Gulf News. November 29, 2015.
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- Beauty and the Beast Broadway Playbill
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- Gans, Andrew (January 28, 2003). "One "Soprano" Exits, Another Returns". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved September 1, 2007.
- David Lefkowitz; Robert Simonson. "Schoeffler to Light Up Bway's Beauty and the Beast, March 21-May 13". Retrieved April 9, 2016.
- "'Beauty' Moving From Palace To the Fontanne". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. July 14, 1999. Retrieved September 17, 2016.
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- Information about Regional US and International productions
- Indianapolis Civic Theatre (Production Photos)
- Theatre Cedar Rapids Beauty and the Beast (Production Photos) Cedar Rapids, IA
- Chattanooga Theatre Centre (Production Photos) Chattanooga, TN
- Music Theatre Louisville (Archive Page) Louisville, KY
- Actor's Playhouse (Review) Coral Gables, FL
- Finnish version,2007, Helsinki City Theatre Helsinki, Finland
- Mexican Production Mexico