20 episodes already?! My, how time flies!
Today we dive into the whole new world of composer Alan Menken, Disney songwriter extraordinaire, an EGOT winner, and the heart and soul of the Disney Renaissance. Join host Sally Fuller with a triumphant return from Ashley Elliott as they take a walk through Alan Menken’s early career with an emphasis on Disney’s Broadway debut, Beauty and the Beast.
- Beauty and the Beast rocks our socks off. But honestly, I’d stick to the movie cast recording and just throw in “If I Can’t Love Her,” “Me,” and “Maison Des Lunes” from the Broadway cast.
- You know what else rocks our socks off? Horizon Theatre. Give them some love by checking out their streaming work at HorizonTheatre.com.
- Our favs: Disney, Howard Ashman, Little Shop of Horrors, Sesame Street, God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Frank Rich, Linda Woolverton, Terrence Mann, Susan Egan, Hercules, Kerry Butler, Andrea McArdle, Christy Carlson Romano, Andrew Keenan Bolger, Nick Jonas, Donny Osmond, Tim Rice, Aladdin, Jesus Christ Superstar, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Michael Eisner, Robert Jess Roth, Stephen Sondheim, A Grand Night for Singing, Passion
- Special thanks to Peachy Corners Cafe, Crazy Love Coffeehouse, Land of a Thousand Hills Coffee, Ground & Pound Coffee, and Noble & Main for being the best editing offices.
- BGP would not be possible without behind-the-scenes team members Thomas Fuller and Elise Friderich.
For the budding theatre fans
For the fangirls
For the die-hards
I thought it was important to note that while Tom Bosley is known to most pop culture enthusiasts as Mr. Cunningham in Happy Days, Broadway fans knew him as the title character in Fiorello in 1960, for which he won a Tony Award.
For further reading on how Disney helped usher in a new age of Broadway by bringing a family-friendly audience, and cleaning up Times Square, check out Janelle Whitaker’s awesome thesis on this very topic for the University of Akron: A WHOLE NEW WORLD: A STUDY ON THE IMPACT THE DISNEY THEATRICAL GROUP HAS MADE ON BROADWAY THEATRE AND TIMES SQUARE OVER THE PAST 20 YEARS.
We hinted at “A Change in Me” being a later-added song, but to elaborate on that point: When Disney was wooing R&B singer Toni Morrison to take over the role of Belle, she agreed to do it on the condition that Menken and Rice would write a new showstopper song for her to sing in the show and record on her own. Ergo, “A Change in Me.” She took over the role in September 1998. Susan Egan, the original Belle, did also get to record the song for a solo album later on.
It’s also worth noting that Lumiere was originally played by a pre-The Producers Gary Beach. You can just see his “Heil Myself” waiting to emerge from those bent legs in “Be Our Guest.”
How to Broadway Corner
How long do shows typically run on Broadway? Hint: It all depends on the producers, who depend on the ticket sales and the Tony Awards.
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