Classic Disney musical enchants audiences

Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:50pm
By: The Citizen

Beauty and the Beast

It’s a magical tale of love that teaches us that beauty is only skin deep. Loved by adults and children alike, “Beauty and the Beast” sweeps its audiences into a world of excitement, romance and mystery. Next week Atlantans will get a chance to be swept up by this beloved musical tale when it takes the stage at the Fox Theatre, September 5-10. Brimming with marvelous songs, endearing humor and unforgettable characters, this “tale as old as time” is sure to delight audiences of all ages.
Follow the adventures of the beautiful and independent Belle who lives in a small provincial French village with her eccentric inventor father, Maurice. One day her father gets lost in the nearby woods and comes upon a foreboding castle. When he approaches the castle, he is imprisoned in the dungeon by a savage and unsightly Beast. Belle comes to rescue her father and offers to take his place in the dungeon. The Beast agrees and Belle is allowed to have her own room. She soon discovers that the castle and its occupants including a pompous clock named Cogsworth; Lumiere, the dashing lovestruck candelabra; and Mrs. Potts, a wise and lovable teapot; are all under a magic spell. Soon the spell will be permanent unless the Beast can unlock the secret. He must learn to love another and he must be loved in return and time is running out…

Starring as Beast is Michael Halling. Most recently he appeared in “The Pajama Game” on Broadway, winner of the 2006 Tony Award for Best Revival. He portrayed Nick in the Broadway production of “In My Life” and was Hugh Jackman’s standby in “The Boy From Oz.” He has also been featured in national tours of “Les Miserables” and “The Full Monty.”
Patti Murin will star as Belle. In one of her most current projects she starred in a brand new musical entitled “Princesses,” which is Broadway bound.  Regionally she has starred in “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Crazy For You.”

In 2006, Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” marked several major milestones. On April 18, the musical celebrated its 12 year anniversary on Broadway and on June 20 the production played its 5,000th performance. Disney's “Beauty and the Beast” is currently the sixth longest running musical in Broadway history. The show features Alan Menken’s Academy Award winning score, songs by the late Howard Ashman and Howard Menken, including the Academy Award winning title song and the show-stopping “Be Our Guest,” plus songs written especially for the stage by Alan Menken and Tim Rice. The book is by Linda Woolverton, author of the original screenplay.
This new production will be directed by Drew Scott Harris. Recently he has been the “in house director” for Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt, directing “Roadside” at the York Theater in New York City; “Mirette” at Goodspeed at Chester, and their biographical revue “The Show Goes On” in New York as well as The Laguna Playhouse. Nationally, he has directed over 150 productions, including “My Fair Lady” (Theater of the Stars, Fox Theatre), “The Sound of Music” (Theater of the Stars, Fox Theatre), “Guys and Dolls” (Atlanta Alliance Theater), “The Mikado 2050” (Candlewood Playhouse) and three years of Princeton Triangle Shows (“Ain’t Myth-behaving,” “Of Dice and Men” and “Satanic Nurses”).
Norb Joerder is the show’s choreographer. He recently reunited Robert Goulet and “Camelot” for a critically acclaimed revival on Broadway. He also staged the Richard Harris International “Camelot” that toured Australia and Europe. In New York, he has directed and choreographed revivals of “42nd Street” with Jerry Orbach and Tammy Grimes, “La Cage Aux Folles” with Gene Barry and Lee Roy Reams, “Gypsy” with Lanie Kazan, “Guys and Dolls” with Vic Damone, “The Music Man” with John Schneider, “Annie Get Your Gun” with Andrea McArdle and “My Fair Lady” with Michael Moriarty. He has worked with Theater of the Stars numerous times including the 2004 regional tours of “Camelot” starring Robert Goulet and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” starring Jon Secada. 
Theater of the Stars will present its production of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at the fabulous Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Street, from September 5-10. Performances are scheduled for Tuesday-Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through Ticketmaster. Purchases through Ticketmaster can be made in three ways: at Ticketmaster ticket centers, by calling 404-817-8700, by ordering online at For group ticket sales, call the Fox Theatre Group Sales Office at 404-881-2000. Ticket prices range from $20- $59.
Theater of the Stars is celebrating its 54 year anniversary this year as one of the nation’s premier theater companies. A civic non-profit cultural organization, Theater of the Stars is dedicated to presenting and producing the best in musical theater. To learn more about their history of excellence, visit them at

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