Get a 1st Look at H.E.R. and Josh Groban in ABC's Beauty and the Beast Special | Playbill

Film & TV News Get a 1st Look at H.E.R. and Josh Groban in ABC's Beauty and the Beast Special

In the Heights and Wicked film director Jon M. Chu executive produces the animated-live action hybrid version of the Howard Ashman-Alan Menken musical.

H.E.R. and Josh Groban in Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration Disney

ABC's upcoming animated-live action hybrid Beauty and the Beast special is set for a December 15 premiere on ABC that will stream on Disney+ from December 16. The event is expected to resemble 2019's The Little Mermaid Live, which paired scenes from the 1989 animated film with staged, live performances.

Get a first look at R&B superstar H.E.R. as Belle and Tony nominee Josh Groban (The Great Comet, upcoming Sweeney Todd) as the titular Beast in the photo above.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration will also feature Broadway favorite Joshua Henry as Gaston, David Alan Grier as Cogsworth, EGOT winner Rita Moreno as the narrator, Martin Short (It's Only a Play) as Lumiere, Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon) as Maurice, Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts, Rizwan Manji (Schitt's Creek) as LeFou, and Leo Abelo Perry as Chip. 

Jon M. Chu, film director of In the Heights and Wicked, will executive produce the special, and Hamish Hamilton (The Little Mermaid Live, The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards) will direct.

With a screenplay by Linda Woolverton and a score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, Beauty and the Beast released in 1991 and was famously described by New York Times theatre critic Frank Rich as "the best Broadway score" of the year, despite being a film. Based on the classic fairy tale, the work would make its way to the stage, Disney's first Broadway outing, in 1994, becoming a massive hit and running until 2007. The work has continued to be produced worldwide and received a live-action screen remake in 2017. No word yet if the upcoming TV version will include any of the new songs written for the musical's stage and live-action film adaptations, most of which feature lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Menken.

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