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Photo Flash: Ashley Brown Begins Performances Tomorrow as Belle in Beauty and the Beast

Ashley Brown is making her Broadway debut as the newest Belle in Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. She begins performances tomorrow, Tuesday, September 20th at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street).

Fresh out of the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Ashley was spotted by casting director Tara Rubin and earned herself a leading role in Disney's touring production of On the Record. Excited to be making her Broadway debut in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Ashley said, "After having the opportunity to perform such wonderful songs in On the Record, it is a dream come true for me to be playing Belle, a true Disney heroine. I can't wait to put on the blue dress and be Belle."

Ashley Brown - Training: BFA in Musical Theater, Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Favorite roles: Cunegonde in Candide, Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the title role in Violet and Johanna in Sweeney Todd. The MUNY: Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, Side by Side by Sondheim, and Crazy For You. Ashley also received the Laurie Beechman Award for Vocal Achievement in Musical Theatre.

Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, currently in its 12th year on Broadway, features Steve Blanchard as the Beast, Ashley Brown as Belle, Grant Norman as Gaston, Peter Flynn as Lumiere, Alma Cuervo as Mrs. Potts, Jeff Brooks as Cogsworth, Jamie Ross as Maurice, Pam Klinger as Babette, Mary Stout as Madame de la Grande Bouche and Aldrin Gonzalez as Lefou. Trevor Braun and Alexander Scheitinger alternate the role of Chip.

Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST features Alan Menken's Academy Award-winning score, songs by the late Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (including the Academy Award-winning title song and the show-stopping "Be Our Guest"), plus songs written especially for the stage by Alan Menken and Tim Rice (including "If I Can't Love Her" and "A Change In Me"). Book is by Linda Woolverton, author of the original screenplay. Disney's Beauty and the Beast is choreographed by Matt West and directed by Robert Jess Roth. Sets are by Stan Meyer, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward, and lighting by Natasha Katz.

Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is the classic love story of Belle, a young woman in a small, provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a prince trapped in a spell placed on him by an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and to be loved, the spell will be broken and he will be transformed back to his former self. But time is running out, and if the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he will be doomed for all eternity.

Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opened on Broadway at the Palace Theatre in 1994, where it played more than 2,250 performances, becoming the longest-running show ever to play the legendary theatre. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, now also the longest running tenant in the history of the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, is Broadway's longest running American musical and the 6th longest running show of all time.

The performance schedule for Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre (205 West 46th Street) is as follows: Tuesday - Thursday at 7pm, Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm and 8pm, and Sunday at 2pm and 7:30pm. For tickets and information, please call Ticketmaster at (212) 307-4747.

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