The Muny announced April 27 that Ashley Blanchet, Ben Crawford, Claybourne Elder, Ann Harada, Kelvin Moon Loh, Eric Jordan Young, Holly Ann Butler, Tommy Bracco, Harrison White, Debby Lennon and Michael Hobin will star in the magical production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, June 22 – 30, 2023.
A Muny family favorite, guests will be dazzled with spectacular sets and costumes from the creative team, led by director John Tartaglia, with choreography by Patrick O’Neill and music direction by Ben Whiteley. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is proudly sponsored by Ameren.
“What a thrilling, joyous cast, one sure to create true enchantment,” said Muny Artistic Director and Executive Producer Mike Isaacson. “We all can’t wait to delight thousands of Muny lovers each night with the beloved Disney classic. Be Our Guest, indeed!”
ASHLEY BLANCHET (Belle) Broadway: Waitress (Dawn), Frozen (u/s Elsa), Beautiful (Little Eva), Annie (Star To Be), Memphis. Recent select regional productions include The Sound of Music (Maria, Paper Mill Playhouse) and Oklahoma! (Ado Annie, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera).
This spring, she was Miss New Hampshire in the world premiere of the new musical The Bedwetter, written by Josh Harmon, Adam Schlesinger and Sarah Silverman. Film/TV: The Equalizer, The Good Fight, Better Nate Than Ever (Disney+) and the voice of Raquelle in the award-winning animated short film Are You Okay? Proud alumna of University of Michigan and The Walnut Hill School in Natick, MA.
BEN CRAWFORD (Beast) Muny: Footloose (Chuck), Titanic (Frederick Barrett), Oliver! (Bill Sikes). Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera (Phantom, 35th Anniversary), Charlie and The Chocolate Factory (Mr. Salt), On the Twelfth Century, Big Fish (Don Price, u/s Edward), Shrek (Shrek) and Les Misérables (u/s Jean Valjean, Javert). Off-Broadway: Irma la Douce (Persil-Le-Noir/Mec) and Merrily We Roll Along (Terry) for Encores!; Jasper in Deadland (Prospect Theatre).
National tour: Guys and Dolls (Sky Masterson). Regional: Evita (Che, Studio Tennessee), 110 in the Shade (Starbuck, Ford’s Theatre), Big Fish (Don Price, u/s Edward, Oriental Theatre), South Pacific (Luther Billis, Ogunquit Playhouse), Next to Normal (Madden, Pioneer Theatre), Assassins (John Wilkes Booth, Arizona Theatre Company), Shrek the Musical (Shrek Standby, Seattle 5th Avenue Theatre), Oklahoma! (Jud Fry, Atlanta Theater of the Stars) and A New Brain (Gordan Schwinn, Arizona Onstage Productions). Concerts: Carousel (Billy Bigelow) with Rochester Philharmonic, and Hello, Dolly! (Cornelius) and Yuletide for Indianapolis Symphony.
CLAYBOURNE ELDER (Gaston) was most recently seen on Broadway as Andy in the Tony Award-winning revival of Company with Patti LuPone. He is a Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominee, known for his Broadway performances in Bonnie and Clyde, Sunday in the Park with George and Torch Song. He also appeared in Sondheim on Sondheim at the Hollywood Bowl, Road Show at the Public Theater, Do I Hear A Waltz? at NY City Center Encores!; Allegro at Classic Stage and Venice at the Public Theater. Other roles include George in Sunday in the Park with George, Giorgio in Passion, Tony in West Side Story, Joe in Angels in America, Curly in Oklahoma!; and Wolf/Cinderella’s Prince in Into the Woods. TV/Film credits include John Adams on The Gilded Age, The Carrie Diaries, FBI, Bad Cupid and the video game Grand Theft Auto V.
ANN HARADA (Mrs. Potts) has appeared at The Muny in High School Musical, 42nd Street, Mamma Mia!; Gypsy and Matilda. She is best known for playing Christmas Eve in Avenue Q on Broadway and London’s West End. Other Broadway: Into the Woods, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella, Les Misérables, 9 to 5, Seussical, M. Butterfly. Recent off-Broadway: Dear World, Fairycakes, Emojiland, I Married an Angel, Pacific Overtures, Brooklynite. TV: Schmigadoon!; Smash, Blue Bloods, The Jim Large.
KELVIN MOON LOH (Lumiere) Muny Debut! Broadway: Beetlejuice The Musical (Otho), SpongeBob SquarePants, The King and I (Lincoln Center 2014), Side Show (2013 Revival). Select Theatre: Here Lies Love (Public Theater), Pacific Overtures (Classic Stage Co.), American Idiot (first national tour). Regional: Utah Shakespeare Festival, Pioneer Theatre Company, Houston TUTS, Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, La Jolla Playhouse, The Kennedy Center, Gateway Playhouse, North Shore Music Theatre, Kansas City Starlight, National Asian Artists Project. TV: Only Murders in the Building. Kelvin can be heard as a vocalist in the movies Spirited; Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile; and The Greatest Showman. He appears as Perch Perkins in the movie version of SpongeBob SquarePants The Musical. NYU Steinhardt.
ERIC JORDAN YOUNG (Cogsworth) Muny: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2022). Broadway: Ragtime (1998), Ragtime (2009), The Look of Love, Chicago and Seussical. Select off-Broadway and regional credits include Neighbors, Dessa Rose, Little Fish, Side Show (Helen Hayes Award), Ragtime, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sammy & Me. National tours: Chicago, Ragtime, Dreamgirls. Las Vegas: Cocktail Cabaret, Rock of Ages, Vegas! The Show; Shakin’; Chicago, Starlight Express.
HOLLY ANN BUTLER (Babette) Muny: Holiday Inn (Lila Dixon), Annie (Lily St. Regis), A Chorus Line (Sheila). Broadway/off-Broadway: Diana (Sarah Spencer), Come From Away, On the Town, How to Succeed In Business Without Really Trying, Grease, Happiness, Anyone Can Whistle. Tours: Evita, Shrek, Jersey Boys. Regional: The Royal Family of Broadway (Barrington, world premiere), The Honeymooners (Paper Mill Playhouse), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drury Lane, Jeff Award nomination). Film/TV: Diana the Musical, A Holiday Spectacular, Spirited, SeaQuest 2032, Figure It Out.
TOMMY BRACCO (Lefou) Broadway: Disney’s Newsies (Spot Conlon, OBC), Pretty Woman: The Musical (Giulio, OBC) and A Chorus Line (Mike Costa, NY City Center Encores!). In addition to theatre, Tommy has a love for reality TV and competed on CBS’ Big Brother and MTV’s The Challenge.
HARRISON WHITE (Maurice) makes his Muny debut in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Broadway: The Lion King and Sarafina! West End: Smokey Joe’s Cafe. Off-Broadway: A Good Swift Kick and Romance in Hard Times at the Public Theater. Other credits include Dreamgirls, Seussical, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Full Monty, Gulls, Miss Saigon, It’s A Wonderful Life; Purlie, Ain’t Misbehavin’; Five Guys Named Moe, Once on This Island, as well as world premieres of Ray Charles Live and Sister Act. TV: The Villains of Valley View, The Underground Railroad, Kenan, Danger Force, The Kominsky Method, Fresh Off the Boat, How To Get Away With Murder, This Is Us, 9-1-1, Modern Family and many more. Film: Mermaid, I Got the Hookup 1 and 2, The Way You Look Tonight, Waiting in the Wings 1 and 2, Opening Night, The Muppets, Se7en. Proud member of AEA since 1988.
DEBBY LENNON (Madame de la Grande Bouche) is thrilled to be a part of The Muny’s 105th Season. Muny credits: Chicago (Standby Matron Mama Morton/Mary Sunshine), Mary Poppins (Miss Andrew), Sweeney Todd, The Sound of Music, Singin’ in the Rain (Dora Bailey), Oliver!; Cinderella on Ice, South Pacific, Annie, Fiddler on The Roof and Show Boat. St. Louis Theater Circle Awards for Grey Gardens (Edith/Little Edie, Best Actress in a Musical) and Souvenir: A Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins (Best Actress in a Comedy). She looks forward to playing the role of Mother in Union Avenue Opera’s upcoming production of Ragtime. Debby celebrates 23 years as director of The Webster University Jazz Singers and is an adjunct professor of voice at Webster University in St. Louis, MO.
MICHAEL HOBIN (Chip) is honored to make his debut this summer at The Muny as a member of the principal cast in Beauty and the Beast. His favorite and recent roles include Ralphie (A Christmas Story), Bruce (Matilda), Young Luke (The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical), Jeter (Footloose) and Olaf (Frozen Jr.). He has performed with Gateway Center for Performing Arts, Shooting Star Productions, Stages Performing Arts Academy and Kirkwood Youth Theatre. Michael is a member of the Muny Kids Touring Troupe. He studies voice with Dr. Philip Woodmore and dance training at Gateway Center for Performing Arts.
About the show:
Be our guest and bring the entire family for an enchanting night under the stars! Disney’s Beauty and the Beast reminds us to look for the beauty within. With a dose of Muny Magic, this production will bring all your favorite fanciful characters to life, with spectacular sets and costumes. Join Belle, the Beast, Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth, Lumiere and all the spellbound characters of the fabled castle in a summer celebration for any age!
Music by Alan Menken, Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Tim Rice and Book by Linda Woolverton.
The Telsey Office is the official casting partner for The Muny. Full casting and design team will be announced at a later date.
The Muny’s 2023 Season includes Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (June 12-18), Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (June 22-30), Chess (July 5-11), West Side Story (July 15-21), Little Shop of Horrors (July 25-31), Rent (August 4-10) and Sister Act (August 14-20).
Season tickets are currently on sale. Single tickets will be available beginning May 22. Muny gift cards for the 105th season are now available online and at The Muny Box Office. For more information, visit muny.org or call (314) 361-1900.
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.