Broadway bids farewell to Belle and Beast

July 29, 2007 at 7:36 PM
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NEW YORK, July 29 (UPI) -- "Beauty and the Beast," the first of several Broadway musicals based on Walt Disney Co. properties, ends its 13-year run Sunday.

The closure of the sixth longest-running show in Broadway history will allow the latest Disney offering, "The Little Mermaid," to make its home at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, starting Nov. 3, reported Sunday.

The magical love story of bookish Belle and her brooding Beast will close after playing 46 previews and 5,464 regular performances since it opened on Broadway in 1994.

The final company includes Donny Osmond as Gaston.

"'Beauty and the Beast' has meant so much to me, both in remembering the joy of creating the animated film and seeing how audiences have embraced it on Broadway for all of these years," said composer Alan Menken -- who collaborated with the late lyricist Howard Ashman on "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Little Mermaid."

"While it saddens me to say goodbye to 'Beauty and the Beast,' I am excited to watch 'The Little Mermaid' take shape as a Broadway musical, and to be a part of its exciting journey to the stage," said Menken.

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