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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:16 pm 
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<center>Image

Beauty and the Beast
Palace Theatre: April 18, 1994 - September 5, 1999
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre: November 11, 1999 - July 29, 2007


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Original Broadway Cast (Alphabetical):

Gary Beach as Lumiere
Tom Bosley as Maurice
Susan Egan as Belle
Beth Fowler as Mrs. Potts
Eleanor Glockner as Madame de la Grande Bouche
Heath Lamberts as Cogsworth
Stacey Logan as Babette
Terrence Mann as Beast
Burke Moses as Gaston
David Ogden Stiers as Prologue Narrator Recorded voice
Wendy Oliver as Enchantress Townsperson, Enchanted Object
Brian Press as Chip
Kenny Raskin as Lefou
Gordon Stanley as Monsieur D'Arque Townsperson, Enchanted Object, Bookseller

Show Spotlight

Becoming the Beast: With Steve Blanchard

Song List:

Act 1
Prologue (The Enchantress)
Belle
No Matter What
No Matter What (Reprise) / Wolf Chase
Me
Belle (Reprise)
Home
Home (Reprise)
Gaston
Gaston (Reprise)
How Long Must This Go On?
Be Our Guest
If I Can't Love Her


Act 2
Entr'acte / Wolf Chase
Something There
Human Again
Maison des Lunes
Beauty and the Beast
If I Can't Love Her (Reprise)
A Change in Me
The Mob Song
The Battle
Transformation
Beauty and the Beast (Reprise)


Broadway Belle Replacement History: (Left To Right)
<table width="75%" border="1"><tr><td>Susan Egan</td><td>Deborah Gibson</td></tr><tr><td>Toni Braxton</td><td>Andrea McArdle</td></tr><tr><td>Sarah Litzsinger</td><td>Jamie-Lynn Sigler</td></tr><tr><td>Megan McGinnis</td><td>Christy Carlson Romano</td></tr><tr><td>Brook Tansley</td><td>Ashley Brown</td></tr><tr><td>Sarah Litzsinger</td><td>Sarah Uriate Berry</td></tr><tr><td>Deborah Lew</td><td>Anneliese Van Der Pol</td></tr></table>

Broadway Beast Replacement History: (Left To Right)
<table width="75%" border="1"><tr><td>Terrence Mann</td><td>James Barbour</td></tr><tr><td>Steve Blanchard</td><td>Jeff McCarthy</td></tr><tr><td>Chuck Wagner</td><td>Steve Blanchard</td></tr></table>

Synopsis:

After a handsome but conceited prince treats a beggar woman poorly, the woman turns out to be a beautiful enchantress and turns the prince into a beast. Further, the prince's staff is all transformed into objects to do with their profession. The prince is given a magical mirror to view the outside world. To break the spell, he needs to learn to love a person for who they are, and get her to love him before a magical rose loses its petals. Meanwhile in a nearby village, a beautiful young bookworm (Belle) feels lonely and out of place. She lives with her eccentric but kind father, Maurice. Soon, Maurice goes off to compete at an inventors' fair but gets lost in the woods and ends up a prisoner at the beast's castle. Belle eventually finds the castle and makes a deal with the beast to let her father go in return for her staying there with the beast. As the beast's inner kindness slowly reveals itself, Belle grows to be in love with him. However, a jilted, self-centered and overly-masculine suitor from Belle's village, Gaston, takes a posse to 'save' her from the beast. Gaston ends up stabbing the best. Luckily, when Belle rushes to the beast and expresses her love for him, he comes back to life again as a handsome prince.

Facts/Trivia:

1. The show debuted on Broadway in 1994, three years after the release of the movie. It is the longest currently-running American musical on Broadway, the sixth longest running show in Broadway history, and has played over 5,200 performances. The show's world premiere was at Houston's Theatre Under The Stars in November, 1993.
2. The idea for the show came about from a particularly popular 25 minute-long Broadway-style performance of the film at Disneyland which opened in 1992 and a similar show at the Disney-MGM Studios theme park which opened concurrent to the film in 1991.
3. At the moment performing in Helsinki, Finland and Berlin, Germany, the show has been performed on London's prestigious West End, as well as Melbourne, Sydney, Wellington, Tokyo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Antwerp, Seoul, Paris, São Paulo, Beijing, Manila, Tel Aviv, Toronto, Stuttgart, Berlin, Vienna. The show is currently touring through the UK and Netherlands.
4. Beauty and the Beast has been performed in 12 different languages: English, Finnish, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Korean, French, Portuguese, German, Dutch, Flemish, and Hebrew.
Israeli model, Yael Bar Zohar made her stage debut playing Belle in the Tel Aviv production of (musical).
5. To make the characters of the Enchanted Objects believable on stage, their transformation storylines were changed. Instead of changing them immediately into objects, they are slowly but surely losing their humanity. If the spell is not broken before the last petal falls, they will fully become whatever object they are supposed to be.
6. The feather duster and wardrobe characters of the film were given names and more fully developed characterizations. Linda Woolverton, who wrote the book of the musical as well as the film's screenplay, named the feather duster maid Babette and the wardrobe Madame de la Grande Bouche. It was the first time these supporting characters were ever named (with the exception of a few collectabe statues released before the musical).
7. In the past few years, Disney has begun to lease the rights for performing the show to traveling theatrical companies, and now the show is performed all over North America and Europe (although Disney will not allow the show to be performed within 50 miles of New York City).

Awards & Nominations:

1994 Tony Awards (9 Nominations, 1 Win)

Best Musical
Best Book of a Musical (Linda Woolverton)
Best Original Score (Music by Alan Menken; Lyrics by Howard Ashman, Tim Rice)
Best Actor in a Musical (Terrence Mann)
Best Actress in a Musical (Susan Egan)
Best Featured Actor in a Musical (Gary Beach)
Best Costume Design (Ann Hould-Ward) WINNER
Best Lighting Design (Natasha Katz)
Best Direction of a Musical (Robert Jess Roth)

1994 Drama Desk Awards (10 Nominations)

Outstanding Musical
Outstanding Actor in a Musical (Terrence Mann)
Outstanding Actress in a Musical (Susan Egan)
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical (Burke Moses)
Outstanding Choreography (Matt West)
Outstanding Orchestrations (Danny Troob)
Outstanding Outstanding Lyrics (Howard Ashman, Tim Rice)
Outstanding Music (Alan Menken)
Outstanding Sound Design (T. Richard Fitzgerald)
Outstanding Special Effects (Jim Steinmeyer, John Gaughan)

1994 Theatre World Award (1 Nomination, 1 Win)

Burke Moses WINNER

Offical Websites:
Broadway
Germany
Netherlands Tour</center>

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Previous Discussions:
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Last edited by TheSequelOfDisney on Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:43 pm 
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I have seen the UK tour version of this twice (once in late 2001, once in early 2003) and I thought that it was fantastic (plus I am pretty certain these versions were Disney productions; I've heard that the current UK tour is a licensed production instead of a Disney-produced show). It respects the look of the film that it was based on, and storywise adapts it to the confinement of the stage when necessary, yet still has enough effects to keep it magical.

If there is one fault, however, it is due to the length. It did come across as rather stretched out at times, especially with the presence of some of the new songs. I think that this could be expected. The film was just over 80 minutes long, and feels somewhat perfect at that length. Some of the additions and extra scenes felt fine, yet some felt as though someone was going "make this show over two hours!". Regardless, it was wonderful, and if anybody has the chance to see it before it closes on Broadway sometime next week, I would do so.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 6:21 pm 
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I really do love this musical, not just as a Disney fan, but as a Broadway fan too. I saw the UK tour (the original disney one) back in 2002. I had never been so captivated. The songs, the sets the costumes, the tiny details in staging just made it a truly magical experience. Although I never saw her perform live as Belle, I've seen video clips and heard recordings and would just like to say that Susan Egan will always be my favourite Belle. So sad to see the show closing in two weeks after a 13 year run, but maybe it'll get a revival someday.

Most Broadway fans don't like this musical because it brought Disney to Broadway and "cheapened" Broadway theatre. I must say I disagree. I was 12 when I saw the tour, and although I had always loved theatre, I had never felt as "grown up" as I did watching, and being thoroughly entertained by this show. It may not be as sophisticated in storyline as many modern musicals, but theatre is a form of entertainment and this show certainly does that.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:10 pm 
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Although the Disney films were of course partly responsible for my love at a young age of Broadway musicals in some ways my love for musical theatre has eclipsed Disney (just some ways mind you)--but I admit to being a bit of a Broadway "snob"--Sondheim is my God :P

So I actually think Passion deserved the awards it won over BatB--it's just an amazing piece of art, gorgeous and profound and one that I admit sharply divides audiences into love it or hate it camps.

As for BatB I'm a bit more mixed than probably others on here will be...

I *adore* the movie. I remember going opening night when i was 11 or 12 and as soon as Belle started I was just in heaven--everything was perfect.

I think the stage show is a bit mixed. I only got to see it live once, in London in 1999 (I don't believe it's London run was too long) with John Barrowman (who nows seems to be everywhere ever since his Dr Who role) excellent as the Beast and UK soap star and minor pop star Michelle Gayle very winning but vocally underhwhelming as Belle (the new song a Change in Me was in the score by this point).

It was a LOT of fun, the special effects like the transformation are great, and I love nearly all of the new score (Tim Rice isn't the best lyricist but he' sOK here and some of the songs like Home are just fantastic--I also like how Menken based elements of his new songs on bits of the instrumental score from the movie--something he's done again now with Mermaid), so I'm fine with the "opening up" of the movie.

My one qualm is with the actual design/direction of the piece. I find it underwhelming. It would be one killer theme park show--way above what you'd see at a park, but that's kinda where it feels stuck to me--like a shockingly good theme park show. I think it was a mistake to try to keep the visuals so close to the Broadway original and it makes it come off as kinda clunky in a way--the sets, directing, etc, are all more than adequate but never really pull together to give you a new unique vision.

I do think Disney learned their lesson though--which is why they hired Taymor for Lion King to really transform the piece for the stage and by all I've seen the amazing designer and director of Mermaid have done likewise--i think Mermaid will be a production that will really stick in people's minds--for me the BatB production never quite reaches that level.

*waits for the flames*


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 7:36 pm 
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I love the Original Broadway Cast Recording and listen to it often. My only real complaint is Terrence Mann, who comes off as too showy and overdramatic on the soundtrack.

I was hoping to get up to NYC before this left Broadway, but it doesn't look like that'll get to happen. I guess I'll miss the opportunity to see this, which is rather disappointing.

Not having seen it, I don't have much else to contribute, but I look forward to reading everyone else's responses.

-Aaron

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 8:37 pm 
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Beauty and the Beast the broadway show will always have a special place in my heart, because it's the first show that introduced me to broadway. I saw the show while it was playing in Toronto back in 1995 (or '96?). I loved it and was astonished that there were places like this where you can see live shows with magical songs and stories that unfold right before your eyes. I've been hooked on broadway ever since.

I saw B&tB twice while it was here. It is immensely sad that the show is closing. Looking forward to The Little Mermaid though.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 10:15 pm 
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It was 1995 Anthony. I was 4 at the time, and like you, it was my introduction to Broadway (although I really didn't get into Broadway until I listened to Phantom of the Opera).

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2007 11:44 pm 
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In a rare stroke of good fortune, I was able to see this show with my sister (known as Jane Mccoy on this forum) a few weeks ago. One of my best friends from school was able to get us a really good deal on tickets because the high school where her father works at was going on a field trip to see the show since their Drama Club will be putting on the show next year. Anyhow we had really close Orchestra seats for only $80! That's a really good deal for Broadway!!

Anyhow, I only recently got thrown into the Broadway theater scene having seen my first show, Wicked, last year and Tarzan, earlier this year (which I'm even more grateful to have seen now that it is gone :( ). I'm no theater buff, but I felt that Beauty and the Beast is probably my most favorite and most well done of the three that I've seen. As the moviemakers said in the BatB DVD feature, they really wrote a movie that was meant for the stage. It felt so right as a theater show and the costumes and scenery were beautiful! They weren't exact copies of the animated feature's designs; they seemed more like period costumes with the animated film used as inspiration. I think if they went exact, it would look too theme parkish. Also, the sets were magnificently detailed (especially compared to the prom streamers seen in the Tarzan jungle) and fit right in with the costumes.

The night we saw the show (a Wednesday), we got three understudies. It was a little disappointing because we were really really really looking forward to seeing and hearing Anneliese van der Pol perform as Belle, but in the end, we were grateful to at least see the show. The understudies were for Belle, Gaston, and Cogsworth. The girl who played Belle (Jennifer Shrader) was okay; she reminded me a lot of Kirsten Dunst and her singing was just mediocre...not terrible, but nothing special. The program said she was the Belle for the National Tour group. Gaston was the same, he was okay singing, but a good actor. Cogsworth, who doesn't sing much anyway, was really good though and he had good chemistry with the other enchanted objects. The wardrobe was hilarious and had a lot of great lines! They developed the character so that she was a guest to the castle and ended up getting stuck with everyone else under the spell.

:) Lumiere (David deVries) was AMAZING. He certainly stole the show. I don't know if it's how he was written or if it's just the way her portrayed the character. He got a nearly endless applause after "Be Our Guest" and Belle and Lumiere were waiting to continue, but everyone kept on clapping so she presented him to the audience and let him take a bow.

Speaking of the Enchanted Objects...

TheSequelofDisney wrote:
5. To make the characters of the Enchanted Objects believable on stage, their transformation storylines were changed. Instead of changing them immediately into objects, they are slowly but surely losing their humanity. If the spell is not broken before the last petal falls, they will fully become whatever object they are supposed to be.


This was probably my favorite aspect of the show and change from the movie. It was really cool to see the costumes slowly transforming as the scenes progressed, but it also made you symphatize a lot more with the characters. In the movie, they're already objects and they're all "Oh hope she breaks the spell so we don't have to be silly objects anymore," but in the show they're all "Oh no...she needs to break the spell so I don't lose my humanity." There was a part where Lumiere freaks out because he realizes he'll eventually melt away to nothing. I think everyone gasped after he said that. It really makes the spell on the castle seem more like a curse that really needs to be broken to save them all.

Prior to the show, I also listened to the soundtrack a lot. I bring this up because I found Steve Blanchard's singing performance as the Beast a little underwhelming. "If I Can't Love Her" is one of the better new songs in the show and the original Beast did a stellar performance. I didn't feel he was overdramatic at all and he really put the beast's soul into the music. I felt Blanchard didn't put enough of himself into the character for that number. He sounded to the point that he was almost bored signing the song. It was quite distressing because that's a really important part of the show. I don't know if he was just tired or sick that night or that's how he usually portrays the Beast, but I was disappointed that we didn't get the same power and energy live on stage than on the soundtrack.

Overall, I felt it was a terrific Broadway experience and another instance of Disney magic. The additions and changes were welcome and enhanced the story rather than hindered it. I really hope that they do bring the show back after it makes its final bow. I would love to see it again as it truly is something spectacular.

I really hope that with the show leaving Broadway, it opens the door for the show becoming a live action movie musical. As long as the enchanted objects don't become CGI, a movie musical version would be AMAZING. I think with the space and resources of a Hollywood set as opposed to a Broadway stage, Beauty and the Beast would be even more magical!

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:36 am 
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AwallaceUNC wrote:
I love the Original Broadway Cast Recording and listen to it often. My only real complaint is Terrence Mann, who comes off as too showy and overdramatic on the soundtrack.


A-friggin-men to that. This album would get much more time in my CD player were it not for him. Maybe seeing him live would have changed my mind, but from what I've heard of him, it would take an actor of incredible caliber to out-ham Terrence Mann. Susan Egan is lovely, though. One of her solo CDs has her singing "A Change in Me", which was added to the run midway through. The song I feel is kinda unnecessary, but it's nice enough and she does a great job with it.

I do like the show. I feel they did a good job expanding the book, especially with the wardrobe (for the life of me, I can't recall her name...Madame de la Grande Bouche or something...), whom I really enjoy seeing more of, especially since most of the actresses I've seen do her act in a Carol Burnett-ish way, which is never a bad thing.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 3:18 am 
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SO no one else finds the actual physical production, artistic wise a bit lacking? *blush*

I guess I'm a bit older--I was already into musical theatre way before I saw the show so I came with that baggage. A Change in Me was added to the show BTW to show off Toni Braxton's voice when she played Belle (she performed it on the Rosie O show too) and then incorporated into the other productions


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 6:47 am 
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Just to let you know, Jim Hill has an article/interview on Anneliese van der Pol about the show:

http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/ ... g-hit.aspx

And, it's not negatively written! :)

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 Post subject: Beauty and the Beast
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:42 pm 
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I had the opportunity to see the production back in 2002, with Sarah Litzsinger and Steven Blanchard in the lead roles. It was a good adaptation of the animation movie and the scenery was beautiful. I had great seats, too!

I was not that impressed with Steven Blanchard's performance of the Beast either. I think his performance was more mechanical verses feeling the role and bringing this fictional character to life.

I did purchase the cd - ok probably paid too much again - and enjoy listening to the music.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:51 pm 
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I got my tickets for the final friday night of BATB on broadway! one week from tomorrow, i can't wait. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2007 12:06 am 
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rb_canadian181 wrote:
I got my tickets for the final friday night of BATB on broadway! one week from tomorrow, i can't wait. :D




:o
Oh man!
I really wanted to get tickets to that!!
Your so lucky!!
I heard the people involved in the movie are going to be there too!
Tell us all what happens okay!? :)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 8:57 am 
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Tune Thursday: How “A Change in Me” wound up being added to Broadway’s “Beauty & the Beast”
http://jimhillmedia.com/blogs/jim_hill/ ... beast.aspx

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:44 pm 
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WOW! I never knew that and "Change In Me" is a favorite song of mine. I bet Toni Braxton was an awesome Belle. :)

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 Post subject: Beauty and the Broadway
PostPosted: Thu Apr 08, 2010 6:49 pm 
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Thanks Amy! I know for a fact that one picture of Toni is in color, so I wish I could see the others in color, but I'm just glad to see more photos of her as Belle!

I recently had seen this show online, in bad quality, and some parts missing, but despite all that, I thought it was great. I think the movie is the best, but that's only if I have to choose one, because both of them are really great.

I think Gaston's extended tavern number with the mug dance is too long and unnecessary, and while I'm at it I don't think his song "Me" is too good, though I understand why he would sing there, just could be a better song, maybe. But Belle's song "Home" is great, and I think when it's reprised in the end...it makes that moment more emotional, and it's fantastic. Also, "If I Can't Love Her" is great, but maybe some lyrics could be changed, though I love when that's reprised too, by the two, it's sweet and powerful at the same time.

I like the song "A Change in Me" a lot, but some people said it literally stopped the show. Okay, two things: I think you only feel it slows down the action if you are thinking of the movie, thinking they're going to go after the Beast soon. Otherwise, it is natural for Belle to slow down after returning home to be with her father for a while. Then, maybe if Belle and her father moved around more it wouldn't seem so stopping, and of course you need to have a good Belle who's powerful with her singing and acting. I think Belle needs that second solo, being the star.

I thought Toni Braxton was GREAT from the videos I saw and heard of her as Belle. People said they didn't think she fit the part in her voice (she sings lower) and her acting, but I looked at it as a different interpretation of the character, she didn't do anything that made you go "Omg no way could Belle ever be like that", but also people said she couldn't be black in that time period and setting. Well it's a fairy tale, and according to history there couldn't be that beast-king in France who doesn't rule his kingdom for who knows how many years, so her ethnicity is no problem, they had black people in France. I even wondered if the fact she was black made the fact she is different from everyone hit home in a different way.

I heard she was a little more of a sexy, sultry, Belle, though, so...

And I love her blue dress costume, Toni's was really nice and different, but the yellow dress costume...for the longest time, that has needed to be more like the original film's, and just needs to look plain better in some areas!

I also loved the huge castle sets, I think they made the whole thing feel more real, and like entering a fully furnished, realized world.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:59 am 
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Didn't know where to post this, but Beauty and the Beast is returning to the Netherlands by the end of the year in a circus theatre.

It's from the same producer from the Dutch The Little Mermaid musical, Joop van den Ende.

This is the commercial.

(also, The Lion King is returning to the Netherlands somewhere nex year, as well.)

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 5:23 pm 
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Yes I know, I'm really excited to see the show live for the first time! :)

I missed the show the last time it was in The Netherlands.

I also really like the new logo they're using, to differentiate it from the last Dutch production.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 04, 2015 6:50 pm 
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supertalies wrote:
I also really like the new logo they're using, to differentiate it from the last Dutch production.

They're using a fan-made logo! :shock:

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