Chinese 'Beauty and the Beast' to premiere in Shanghai

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 17, 2018
A Chinese poster for the Mandarin production of the Broadway musical "Beauty and the Beast." [Photo courtesy of Shanghai Disney Resort]

The Mandarin version of the highly anticipated Broadway stage production "Beauty and the Beast" will premiere in June, announced Shanghai Disney Resort on Monday.

The musical is set to take the stage at the Walt Disney Grand Theatre in Disneytown on June 14. According to Philippe Gas, general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort, the new Mandarin production of the romantic fairy tale "will resonate deeply with the Chinese audience, as this tale as old as time is brought to life on stage."

The production tells the timeless story of Belle, a young woman first repelled by, then attracted to a gruff yet big-hearted Beast, who is actually a young prince trapped within a beast's body. Disney expects it to become "an ideal live-entertainment experience for guests of all ages, and a truly memorable family outing."

"Beauty and the Beast" was adapted from a fairy tale published by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1790. Before Disney touched it, there were several film adaptations. Walt Disney Animation Studios produced an animated feature in 1991, and its iconic music won the Academy Award for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for its title song, a duet later recorded by Canadian singer Celine Dion and American singer Peabo Bryson.

Following its success on screen, the global hit was transformed into musical stage show that premiered on Broadway in 1994. Since then, the musical has toured 37 countries and regions and entertained more than 35 million audience members. In addition, a live-action film adaptation was made last year, grossing over US$1.2 billion worldwide, making it the highest-grossing live-action musical film ever.

"'Beauty and the Beast' was Disney's first musical on Broadway and ultimately became one of the longest-running and most beloved shows of all time," said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer of Disney Theatrical Productions. He added, "Following the success of 'The Lion King,' I am thrilled to collaborate with the Shanghai Disney Resort team once again and to welcome the Broadway production's original director, Rob Roth and his creative team as they recreate this treasured story for Chinese audiences."

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