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Disney's 'Beauty and the Beast' Broadway show comes to Paramount

Jan. 08, 2013 @ 12:00 AM

In the many decades since the late Walt Disney started his entertainment company, the Disney label has found much success in the movie, TV, music and amusement park worlds. The last piece of the puzzle came with the brand's move to the Broadway stage.

In New York City, Disney has three Broadway musicals going strong with the long-successful "The Lion King," "Mary Poppins" and the Tony Award-winning "Newsies." But the company's first triumph on Broadway was "Beauty and the Beast." The production ran for 13 years becoming one of the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history.

Now, Disney has revived the "Beauty and the Beast" musical, bringing back many of the original creatives who brought the show to life nearly 20 years ago. One stop on this new tour is the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland.

"Beauty and the Beast" will take the stage Thursday, Jan. 10. The show begins at 7 p.m., and tickets range from $45 to $65. The Paramount Arts Center is located at 1300 Winchester Ave., in Ashland.

Playing the part of "Beast" will be Darick Pead, Hilary Maiberger performs as "Belle," Joe Hager takes the stage as "Gaston" and inhabiting the role of "Mrs. Potts" is Erin Edelle.

"Beauty and the Beast" the musical is based on the hit movie of the same name, only with additional songs added to the production. The music is written by Alan Menken with lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. The book was written by Linda Woolverton. Coming back for this touring company is many of the original creators including director Rob Roth and choreographer Matt West. Reprising her role as costume designer is Ann Hould-Ward, who won a Tony Award for her work on "Beauty and the Beast" in 1995.

There is a Tri-State connection to that first run of "Beauty and the Beast" on Broadway that began in 1994. The actor who played the part of the Beast was Terrence Mann, who was born in Ashland. Mann was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance.

"Beauty and the Beast" is a family-friendly show that has played to more than 30 million people in over 10 countries. The story takes place in a fantasy land environment, but highlights the age old themes of adventure, acceptance and love. The origins of the "Beauty and the Beast" story are murky, but versions of the beloved fable can be traced back to the Roman Empire. The first treatment of the story that used the title "Beauty and the Beast" was written in France in the 1700s. The 1991 Disney movie version of the tale won two Academy Awards, garnered four other Oscar nominations and made more than $300 million world-wide.

If you go

What: Disney's "Beauty and the Beast"

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10

Where: Paramount Arts Center, 1300 Winchester Ave., Ashland

How much: $45-$65

Box office: 606-324-3175

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