A traditional fairytale first published in France in the mid-18th century, “Beauty and the Beast” is an enduring story of love and friendship that has been translated into hundreds of versions worldwide.
When Walt Disney Pictures released the animated feature film Beauty and the Beast in 1991 with a score by composer Alan Menken and the late lyricist Howard Ashman, it was hailed as an instant classic with critics praising its “songs worthy of a Broadway musical.” The film went on to win Academy® Awards for Best Song and Best Original Score and made history as the only animated feature ever nominated for Best Picture. Given the power of the film’s story and music, the decision was made to bring Beauty and the Beast to the Broadway stage.
Disney Theatrical Productions assembled the creative team and worked hard to combine the strengths of the beloved film with the possibilities that only live theatre can offer. Linda Woolverton adapted her Beauty and the Beast screenplay to the stage, adding new scenes to fill out the story for the stage. The Oscar®-winning score was expanded to include several new songs by Menken and veteran lyricist Tim Rice.
Beauty and the Beast opened at the Palace Theatre on April 18, 1994 and played on Broadway for over 13 years - 5,461 performances - finishing its run at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and ultimately becoming the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history.
Beauty and the Beast has logged over 15,000 performances in more than 120 cities and 21 countries such as Canada, Japan, Mexico, Ireland, South Korea, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil and Argentina. The play has been translated into 8 languages: Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Japanese, Korean, Russian and Italian.