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van der Pol is Beauty and the Beast's Last Belle, 4/3

"That's So Raven" star Anneliese van der Pol will be Broadway's final Belle in Beauty and the Beast, which is set to close at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on July 29th.

van der Pol, succeeding Deborah Lew, will join the cast on April 3rd.  The show currently stars Steve Blanchard as the Beast, Stephen Buntrock as Gaston, John Tartaglia as Lumiere, Jeanne Lehman as Mrs. Potts, Jonathan Freeman as Cogsworth, Jamie Ross as Maurice, Meredith Inglesby as Babette, Mary Stout as Madame de la Grande Bouche, Aldrin Gonzalez as Lefou, and Trevor Braun and Marlon Sherman alternating in the role of Chip.

van der Pol, who plays Chelsea on the Disney Channel's "That's So Raven," will maker her Broadway debut in Beauty and the Beast.  Previous stage credits include Oklahoma! and Evita.  She is also a recording artist for Disney.

The musical, directed by Robert Jess Roth, features Alan Menken's Academy Award-winning score, songs by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman (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").

The production also features a book by Linda Woolverton, author of the original screenplay and choreography by Matt West. Sets are by Stanley A. Meyer, costumes by Ann Hould-Ward and lighting by Natasha Katz.

Beauty and the Beast officially opened on Broadway on April 18, 1994 and played at the Palace Theatre for the first five years of its run. The show received 9 Tony nominations, including Best Musical.  The production transferred to the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on November 11, 1999.  

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