<strong>Disney announces new Australian casting for Beauty & the Beast</strong>

Disney announces new Australian casting for Beauty & the Beast

The Walt Disney Company is thrilled to announce the three incredible performers that have been cast in the roles of Gaston, Maurice and Le Fou when Beauty and the Beast has its Australian premiere at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre in June 2023.

Andy Cook will step into the role of Gaston, Le Fou will be played by Nick Cox and Rodney Dobson will play Belle’s father, Maurice.

Hailing from the Northern Beaches of Sydney, Andy originated the role of ‘Wayne Burns’ in the world premiere of Strictly Ballroom the Musical and is currently playing ‘The Duke’ in Moulin Rouge! The Musical.

Exciting newcomer Nick Cox will make his professional musical theatre debut as Gaston’s hilarious buddy, Le Fou.

Central Coast resident Rodney is a seasoned performer also currently performing in Moulin Rouge! The Musical. His extensive theatre credits include the role of Amos Hart in Chicago, Dr Dillamond in Wicked, Thénardier in Les Misérables (25th Anniversary) and many more.

“It has been a great pleasure of mine to witness the extensive Aussie talent in our auditions for this new production. Andy, Nick and Rodney are all such incredible performers and bring their own vibrant and hilarious energy to these iconic characters. We can’t wait to announce the remainder of the cast in the new year,” said the production’s Director & Choreographer Matt West.

The roles of Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs Potts, Babette and Madame will be announced next year.

Based on the 1991 film Beauty and the Beast opened on Broadway in April 1994 and garnered nine Tony nominations and one win. It played for more than 13 years on Broadway (before closing in 2007) and remains to this day one of the top 10 longest running shows in Broadway history.

The original Australian production of Beauty and the Beast opened in Melbourne at the Princess Theatre in 1995 starring Rachel Beck in the role of Belle, Michael Cormick as the Beast, a young Hugh Jackman as Gaston, and the late Bert Newton as Cogsworth. The production played for over two years across Melbourne and Sydney and won the 1996 ARIA Award for Best Australian Soundtrack/Cast/Show Release.

This new stage production of Beauty features lyrics by Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton. The work retains the lush period sound of the Oscar-winning and Tony® award nominated score – which brought classics including “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast”, as well as “Change in Me”, added to the musical production in 1998 and retained thereafter.

New dance arrangements by David Chase, have allowed original choreographer Matt West to re-visit his work, this time as director and choreographer. Longtime Menken collaborators Michael Kosarin and Danny Troob are musical supervisor/vocal arranger and orchestrator, respectively.

Completing the design team, Tony® award winner John Shivers is sound designer, Darryl Maloney is the video and projections designer, and David H. Lawrence is hair designer. Jim Steinmeyer is the illusions designer, as he was on the original 1994 production.

Tickets for Beauty and the Beast are on sale now at  www.beautyandthebeastmusical.com.au