(MILLBURN, NJ) -- Paper Mill Playhouse presents the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Disney’s Beauty and the Beast from May 29 to July 3rd. The musical features music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice, and book by Linda Woolverton.
Directed by Mark S. Hoebee, with choreography by Alex Sanchez and music direction by Michael Borth, the principal cast features Belinda Allyn (Paper Mill’s West Side Story) as Belle, Joel Blum (Show Boat) as Maurice, Jenelle Chu (Bernhardt/Hamlet) as Babette, Kevin Curtis (Paper Mill’s A Chorus Line) as Lefou, Donna English(Paper Mill’s Lend Me a Tenor) as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Stacia Fernandez (Paper Mill’s Bandstand) as Mrs. Potts, Gavin Lee (SpongeBob SquarePants) as Lumiere, Kevin Ligon (Hello Dolly!) as Cogsworth, Stephen Mark Lukas (The Book of Morman) as Gaston, Tally Sessions (Paper Mill’s South Pacific) as The Beast, withGianni David Faruolo (Fun Home) and Antonio Watson (This Ain’t No Disco) alternating in the role of Chip.
They will be joined by Joe Bigelow, Monica Cioffi, Brittany Conigatti, Justin DeParis, Stephen DiBiase, Jennifer Evans, Annie Gagen, David Michael Garry,Leeds Hill, Brett Michael Lockley, Michael Milkanin, Corinne Munsch, Brett Pederson, Alexa Racioppi, Taylor Rosenberger, Molly Rushing, Bronwyn Tarboton, Matthew Vincent Taylor, and Cynthia Thorne.
Singing teapots and candlesticks, an evil spell, and an unlikely love story are all part of the magic of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, an international sensation that has played to more than 35 million people in 13 countries. Based on the Academy Award–winning animated feature, the stage production includes all of the original songs from the movie by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, plus additional gems by Menken and Tim Rice. The whole family will be enchanted by this gorgeous production, featuring stunning costumes and sets, spectacular dance numbers, and, of course, a fairy-tale ending.
The production team includes scenic design by Kelly James Tighe, costume design by Leon Dobkowski, lighting design by Charlie Morrison, sound design by Matt Kraus, hair and wig design by Leah J. Loukas, makeup design by Dena Olivieri, and fight direction by Rick Sordelet.The production stage manager is Andrea Cibelli. Casting by Telsey + Company, Rebecca Scholl, CSA. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast will be performed at Paper Mill Playhouse eight times a week, Wednesday through Sunday. Performance schedule: Wednesday at 7:00pm, Thursday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm, Friday at 7:00pm, Saturday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm and Sunday at 1:30pm and 7:00pm. PLEASE NOTE: Due to popular demand, four added performances: Tuesday, June 18, at 7:00pm, Tuesday, July 2, at 7:00pm, Wednesday, July 3, at 1:30pm & 7:00pm. Tickets are on sale now starting at $34. Tickets may be purchased by calling 973.376.4343, at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office at 22 Brookside Drive in Millburn, or online at www.PaperMill.org. All major credit cards accepted. Groups of 10 or more may receive up to a 40% discount on tickets and should call 973.315.1680. Season subscriptions are on sale now and are available by calling 973.379.3717. Students may order $23-$28 rush tickets over the phone or in person at the Paper Mill Playhouse Box Office on the day of the performance.
Belinda Allyn (Belle) is thrilled to be back at Paper Mill Playhouse! She was previously seen at Paper Mill as Maria in West Side Story and recently as the standby for the leading ladies in Benny & Joon. Other credits include Allegiance (Broadway), understudy Imelda in Here Lies Love (Seattle Rep), Maria in West Side Story (Riverside Theatre), and Mrs. Claus in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (NYC). Graduate of Oklahoma City University.
Joel Blum (Maurice) is very excited to appear at Paper Mill. Broadway: Show Boat (Tony nomination), Steel Pier (Tony nomination), The Music Man, 42nd Street, Stardust,After the Night and the Music, A Christmas Carol, Debbie (starring Debbie Reynolds). Off Broadway: Neurosis, Kid Victory, Golf: The Musical (Drama Desk nomination), And the World Goes ’Round, Game Show. Tours: Billy Elliot, Doctor Doolittle, 101 Dalmatians, Annie Get Your Gun, others. Regional: October Sky; Kiss Me, Kate; Tin Pan Alley Rag (Barrymore Award); Meet John Doe (Helen Hayes nomination); Damn Yankees; Pal Joey. TV: Ed; The Sopranos; specials with Bob Hope, Liberace, and Debbie Reynolds;The Sonny and Cher Show; The Tonight Show; Law & Order.
Jenelle Chu (Babette) is so proud to be making her Paper Mill Playhouse debut! Broadway: Bernhardt/Hamlet (Roundabout), Junk (Lincoln Center Theater). Regional:Vietgone (American Conservatory Theater), The Comedy of Errors (Shakespeare and Co.). Other NYC credits include These Seven Sicknesses, Serials @ The Flea (The Flea Theater), Good Vibrations (52nd Street Project). TV/Film: White Flags, Elementary, Instinct. Education: University of Missouri–Kansas City; MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Kevin Curtis (Lefou). Paper Mill Playhouse: A Chorus Line. National Tour: A Chorus Line. Off Broadway: Invisible Thread (Second Stage). Regional: The Muny, A.R.T., Denver Center, Geva Theatre, Dallas Theater Center, PCLO, North Shore Music Theatre, TUTS, Stages St. Louis. TV: Younger. Film: Take Care, Newlyweeds.
Donna English (Madame de la Grande Bouche). Broadway: Living on Love, Nice Work If You Can Get It, Lend Me a Tenor, Broadway. Off Broadway: Madame X (NYMF Outstanding Performance Award), Christmas in Hell, Taking a Chance on Love, Forbidden Broadway Strikes Back!, and Ruthless! (Drama Desk nomination). National Tour: Genie Klein in Beautiful. This marks her tenth production with Paper Mill. Favorites include Lend Me a Tenor (Diana), The Sound of Music (Elsa), High School Musical (Ms. Darbus), Hairspray (Velma), and Harold and Maude (Mrs. Chasen). Her extensive regional credits include principle roles at Long Wharf, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Goodspeed Musicals, and 5th Avenue.
Gianni David Faruolo (Chip). Regional debut. Recent theater credits: Fun Home (John Bechdel), Peter Pan (Michael Darling), A Christmas Carol (Tiny Tim), and Super! The Musical (Young Mark). Recent cabaret credits: Paul Williams Tribute at Joe’s Pub (Puppeteer/Singer).
Stacia Fernandez (Mrs. Potts) is so happy to return to Paper Mill, where she previously appeared in Annie and Bandstand. Broadway: Beauty and the Beast (Mrs. Potts),Mamma Mia!, The Drowsy Chaperone, Swing!, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Tom Sawyer. Regional: Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, Aunt Cleo in A Sign of the Times, Diana inNext to Normal, Adelaide in Guys and Dolls, Mrs. Anna in The King and I, Grizabella in Cats. Film: Enchanted, Shaggy Dogg, Captain America, Frozen 2. As a playwright, she has written The Loop and A Smalltowne Christmas.
Gavin Lee (Lumiere). Broadway: Squidward in SpongeBob SquarePants (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), Thénardier in Les Misérables, Bert in Disney’s Mary Poppins(Tony and Olivier nominations, Drama Desk and Theater World Awards). Other theater: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Madison Square Garden), Show Boat (Carnegie Hall), Holiday Inn (world premiere, Goodspeed), Mary Poppins (first national tour), The Nerd (Bucks County Playhouse). London’s West End: Top Hat, Mary Poppins, Crazy for You, Peggy Sue Got Married, Me and My Girl, Oklahoma!, and Contact. TV: Woodford in White Collar (season six), Law & Order: SVU, The Good Wife.
Kevin Ligon (Cogsworth) last appeared at Paper Mill Playhouse in the 1988 production of Mack and Mabel. He recently appeared on Broadway in the smash-hit revival ofHello, Dolly! as well as On the Twentieth Century; Bullets Over Broadway; The Phantom of the Opera; Sister Act; Finian’s Rainbow; Young Frankenstein; The Producers; KissMe, Kate; 1776; and The Secret Garden. Other credits include Anastasia (Hartford Stage Company), Max in The Sound of Music (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Mr. Bumble in Oliver! (Pioneer Theatre Company), Adolfo Pirelli in Sweeney Todd (Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration), Nicely-Nicely in Guys and Dolls (national tour—Jeff Award),Forbidden Broadway (Off Broadway).
Stephen Mark Lukas (Gaston) is thrilled to make his Paper Mill Playhouse debut. Broadway: The Book of Mormon (Elder Price). Favorite regional credits: Curly inOklahoma! (Ogunquit Playhouse), Joe Hardy in Damn Yankees (Goodspeed), Lancelot in Camelot (Westport Country Playhouse), Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls (Maine State Music Theatre), Captain Phoebus in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Music Theatre Wichita). Television: Gossip Girl, Empire Falls.
Tally Sessions (Beast). Paper Mill: South Pacific (Luther Billis), Little Shop of Horrors. Broadway: Anastasia, War Paint, Falsettos, School of Rock, Big Fish, The House of Blue Leaves, Paramour. Tours: South Pacific, Legally Blonde, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Off Broadway: Giant (Public Theater), Queen of the Mist (Transport Group), Anyone Can Whistle (Encores!), Yank! (York Theatre). Regional: Leading roles at the Old Globe, the Kennedy Center, Goodspeed Opera House, Signature Theatre, the Muny, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Olney Theatre Center. Awards: two Carbonell Awards, Denver’s Henry Award, two Helen Hayes Award nominations, Connecticut Critics Circle nomination. TV: Elementary, Falling Water.
Antonio Watson (Chip). Off-Broadway: This Ain’t No Disco (Atlantic Theater). Professional stage: Caroline, or Change (Tantrum Theater), The Preacher’s Wife (reading),Mandela (reading). TV/Film: Blue Bloods, All the Little Things We Kill, In the Field, Lily, The Late Show, Nickelodeon, Sesame Street. Pixie Dust Players: The People Garden,Oliver! Jr., Winnie the Pooh Kids.
Creators and Creative Team
Alan Menken (Music). Stage musicals: God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater; Little Shop of Horrors; Beauty and the Beast; A Christmas Carol; The Little Mermaid; Sister Act; Leap of Faith; Newsies; Aladdin; The Hunchback of Notre Dame; The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz; Kicks; A Bronx Tale. Film: The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast,Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Hercules, Enchanted, Tangled. Television: Sesame Street, Lincoln, The Neighbors, Galavant. Awards: Tony, Drama Desk, eight Oscars, 11 Grammys, seven Golden Globes, London’s Evening Standard, Olivier, Outer Critics Circle. Honors: Songwriters Hall of Fame, Billboard #1 single and album, Disney Legend, Hollywood Walk of Fame, doctorates from NYU and UNCSA.
Howard Ashman (Lyrics) wrote the lyrics for the Disney animated films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin (three songs). With composer Alan Menken, he received two Academy Awards and two Golden Globes for Best Song (“Beauty and the Beast” and “Under the Sea”) and four Grammy Awards. He was author, lyricist, and director of the stage musical Little Shop of Horrors as well as the screenwriter for the film adaptation, which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Song.
Tim Rice (Lyrics) has worked in music, theater, and film since 1965, when he met Andrew Lloyd Webber, a fellow struggling songwriter. Their collaborations include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Evita. Tim has also worked with composers such as Elton John (The Lion King, Aida), Alan Menken (Aladdin, King David, Beauty and the Beast), and Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson (Chess). In 2013, he wrote and presented a 52-part series for BBC Radio 2, American Pie, a trawl through the music and musicians of every state. He has won several awards, mainly for the wrong thing or for simply turning up.
Linda Woolverton (Book) wrote the screenplays for Beauty and the Beast (Golden Globe winner and Academy Award nominee for best picture, the first animated film to receive such a nomination), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland (dir. Tim Burton), Alice Through the Lookingglass, Maleficent, andMaleficent: Mistress of Evil (upcoming) as well as the books for the Broadway musicals Beauty and the Beast (Tony Award nomination for best book, Olivier Award for Best New Musical), Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, and Elton John’s Lestat. She also wrote the young adult novels Star Wind and Running Before the Wind.
Mark S. Hoebee (Director, Producing Artistic Director) joined the artistic team at Paper Mill Playhouse in 2000. Under his leadership, Paper Mill was presented with the Regional Theatre Tony Award in 2016 and in recent years launched such noteworthy projects as the world premieres of Newsies, in partnership with Disney Theatrical Productions, Honeymoon in Vegas, Ever After, Bandstand, A Bronx Tale, The Honeymooners, and The Sting starring Harry Connick, Jr., as well as the American premieres of the 25th Anniversary Production of Les Misérables, working alongside Cameron Mackintosh, Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and the national tour of The Bodyguard starring Deborah Cox. On Broadway, Mark directed the Actors Fund benefit of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas starring Jennifer Hudson. He has directed national tours of Victor/Victoria starring Toni Tennille, Dreamgirls, Company, and An Evening of Lerner and Loewe starring Diahann Carroll. His directing credits at Paper Mill include West Side Story; Annie; Mary Poppins; Dreamgirls; Hello, Dolly! starring Tovah Feldshuh; Harold and Maude: The Musical with Estelle Parsons;The Will Rogers Follies starring John Davidson; Meet Me in St. Louis; The King and I; Miss Saigon; Disney’s High School Musical; Peter Pan; Smokey Joe’s Cafe; Oliver!;Damn Yankees; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Curtains; and The Full Monty starring Broadway legend Elaine Stritch. He resides in Glen Ridge with his partner Larry Elardo, Coordinating Broadcast Producer for the CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning, and their children, Stephen and Ashley.
Alex Sanchez (Choreographer) is thrilled to return to Paper Mill after having served as choreographer for West Side Story, associate choreographer for Carnival, and playing Harry Beaton in Brigadoon. He has directed Sweet Charity, Newsies, and Evita (The Marriott Theatre in Chicago); In the Mood (Bud Forrest Entertainment/national tour); andThe World Goes ’Round (Riverside Theatre, NYC). In New York he choreographed Roman Holiday (pre-Broadway/GFI Productions); Giant (The Public Theater—Lortel nomination); Far from Heaven (Playwrights Horizons); Where’s Charley? and Fiorello (New York City Center Encores!); Red Eye of Love (co-choreographer, Amas Musical Theatre—Calloway Award winner).
Michael Borth (Music Director). Paper Mill debut. National Tours: Beauty and the Beast (international), The Phantom of the Opera, Man of La Mancha, 25th Annual…Spelling Bee, The Will Rogers Follies, Flashdance, The King and I. Orchestrator and conductor of the original Off Broadway run of The Marvelous Wonderettes, and arranger and orchestrator of its sequels, Wonderettes: Caps and Gowns and Wonderettes: Dream On. Over 50 regional credits including Reprise, Sacramento Music Circus, Musical Theatre West, Music Theatre Wichita, Ogunquit Playhouse, and Pasadena Playhouse. Musical director of the NYC concert and cast recording of Ryan Scott Oliver’s 35mm.
Kelly James Tighe (Scenic Design). Off Broadway/National Tours: Martin Luther on Trial, The Most Reluctant Convert, The Great Divorce, The Fantasticks, Almost Heaven,Movin’ Out, Shear Madness, Cats. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse, Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, San Jose Rep, Laguna Playhouse, Center Rep, Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, Sacramento Theatre Company, Gateway Playhouse, Contra Costa Musical Theatre, Diablo Theatre, Ray of Light. Mr. Tighe’s theatrical work is published in the textbook Scene Design and Stage Lighting, and his work as an illustrator has been published in Mooseltoe: A Moose and a Dream. Awards: SF Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle, Drama-Logue, Shellie.
Leon Dobkowski (Costume Design). Paper Mill: Annie, Mary Poppins, Vanya and Sonia.... Past productions with the Muny (St. Louis Theater Circle Awards, Seussical 2014,The Wiz 2018; Judy Award, Tarzan), Weston Playhouse, Theatre Under the Stars, George Street Playhouse, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Irish Repertory Theatre, Yale Repertory Theater, Pittsburgh CLO, Music Theatre Wichita, Engeman Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Feld Entertainment’s Disney Live!, Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Westchester Broadway, NYMF (Outstanding Costume Design, Claudio Quest), Cape May Stage, TheaterWorks Hartford (CT Critics Choice Award nomination, The Legend of Georgia McBride). MFA, Yale School of Drama.
Charlie Morrison (Lighting Design). Paper Mill: Annie, Mary Poppins, West Side Story, Elf, Grease, The Little Mermaid, Curtains, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Full Monty, Meet Me in St. Louis, and Hello, Dolly!. National and international tours: The Little Mermaid; How the Grinch Stole Christmas; The Producers; Hello, Dolly!; Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; Miss Saigon; Aida; Man of La Mancha; Guys and Dolls; Groovaloo; My Fair Lady; The King and I; 42nd Street; The Who’s Tommy; and many others. Regional: Shakespeare Theatre Company (DC), Guthrie, Goodspeed, Seattle Rep, Dallas Summer Musicals, TUTS, 5th Avenue, Kansas City Starlight, Pittsburgh CLO, George Street Playhouse, PlayMakers Rep, Tulsa Opera, and more. Winner of two Helen Hayes Awards (seven nominations).
Matt Kraus (Sound Design). Broadway: Liza’s at the Palace…, Kristin Chenoweth: My Love Letter to Broadway, Kathy Griffin Wants a Tony. Off Broadway: Caucasian Chalk Circle, 50 Shades! The Musical Parody, Forbidden Broadway, Voca People. Audio coordinator for remote shoots at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Regional: Paper Mill Playhouse (Holiday Inn, Lend Me a Tenor, Newsies), St. Louis Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Walnut Street, and more. Matt has also played the world’s most prestigious venues: Hollywood Bowl, Hampton Court Palace, Olympia in Paris, Sydney Opera House, Monte Carlo Sporting Club, and Vienna State Opera House. Matt recently won a Daytime Emmy for his work on Disney’s Broadway Hits at Royal Albert Hall.
Leah J. Louka (Hair & Wig Design). Broadway: Hadestown; Escape to Margaritaville; Time and the Conways; Marvin’s Room; Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812; Sweat; Oh, Hello; The Heidi Chronicles; On the Town; A Night with Janis Joplin; Vanya and Sonia…; Irene’s Vow;American Idiot. Off Broadway/Regional: Clueless: The Musical, The True (New Group); Detroit ’67 (Hartford Stage/McCarter); White Devil (Red Bull); Plenty, Barbecue,Fortress of Solitude, Julius Caesar, Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Into the Woods (Public).
Dena Olivieri (Makeup Design) is thrilled and honored to join the creative team of Beauty and the Beast at Paper Mill Playhouse, her Paper Mill debut! She won best makeup in the Rhode Island BroadwayWorld Awards for her Beauty and the Beast makeup design in 2017.
Telsey + Company (Casting). Broadway/Tours: Beetlejuice, Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus, Oklahoma!, Be More Chill, Network, The Cher Show, The Prom, Pretty Woman, My Fair Lady, Mean Girls, Frozen, Come from Away, Waitress, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Wicked, Hello, Dolly!, Anastasia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Off Broadway: Atlantic Theater Company, Classic Stage Company, MCC Theater, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Second Stage Theater. Film: Mary Poppins Returns, Ben Is Back, The Greatest Showman, Into the Woods, Rachel Getting Married. TV: Tales of the City, Fosse/Verdon, NOS4A2, Rent: Live, This Is Us, House of Cards, One Day at a Time, commercials.
Rick Sordelet (Fight Direction). 44 Broadway productions, including Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, and Aida. He has staged the fights for the opera Cyrano de Bergerac starring Placido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera, The Royal Opera House, and the LaScala in Milan, Italy; and for over 40 productions on five continents. Film: The Game Plan starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; Dan in Real Life starring Steve Carell and Juliette Binoche; and Hamlet starring Campbell Scott. He served as the chief stunt coordinator for Guiding Light and staged the fights for First Jedi, a CD-ROM for George Lucas. Rick received the Lucille Lortel Award for Sustained Excellence in 2007. He teaches at Yale School of Drama.
Andrea Cibelli (Production Stage Manager). Paper Mill: World premieres of A Bronx Tale, The Bandstand, and Honeymoon in Vegas, as well as West Side Story, The Sound of Music, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Smokey Joe’s Cafe, The Full Monty, Steel Magnolias, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Nutcracker, and New Voices 2013–2018. Broadway: A Bronx Tale, Head Over Heels, Honeymoon in Vegas. Tours: West Side Story, Spring Awakening. International: West Side Story (Japan), Race for Love (China). Regional: Dreamgirls (TOTS), The Little Mermaid (DSM). Other credits include Monkey: Journey to the West, The Mile-Long Opera, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Princeton University Dance Department, and Lincoln Center Festival.
Accessibility Performances and Autism-Friendly Performance for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast
Paper Mill Playhouse, a leader in accessibility, will offer audio-described performances for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast on Saturday, June 22, and Sunday, June 23, at 1:30pm. Prior to these performances at noon, the theater will offer free sensory seminars. Sensory seminars offer an opportunity for patrons with vision loss to hear a live, in-depth description of the production elements of the show and hands-on interaction with key sets, props, and costumes. There will be a sign-interpreted and open-captioned performance on Sunday, June 23, 2019, at 7:00pm. Paper Mill Playhouse will also present an autism-friendly performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast onWednesday, June 26, at 1:30pm. This performance is designed specifically for children on the autism spectrum or with other developmental disabilities, and is planned in cooperation with Paper Mill Playhouse’s Autism Advisory Team. The theater environment will be altered for this performance, providing a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming to all families. The performance itself will be adjusted with special attention paid to lighting and sound. For tickets to this special performance, please call the Paper Mill Playhouse box office at 973-376-4343 or visit www.PaperMill.org/autism.
Major sponsors for Paper Mill Playhouse’s autism-friendly performance of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast are The Goren Family & Harmony Helper, and Merck.
Major funding for autism-friendly programs is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and Wells Fargo.
Additional support includes Autism Speaks, C.R. Bard Foundation, The Thomas & Agnes Carvel Foundation, The Karma Foundation, Merck, MetLife Foundation, Nordstrom, George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust, and Summit Area Public Foundation.