‘Beauty and the Beast’ tours to last cities

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast 2015-16 U.S. National TourDisney’s Beauty and the Beast, the smash hit Broadway musical, recently completed its 300th performance after being on tour since September 2015. Its last two tour locations are San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre on June 29 – July 10 and the Kansas City Starlight Theatre on July 13 – 19.


Produced by NETworks Presentations, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast features the Academy Award-winning score with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by the late Howard Ashman, with additional songs composed by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice.


The original creators of the Broadway hit reunited for this new touring production. Directed by Rob Roth and choreographed by Matt West, the show also features costume design by Tony Award-winner Ann Hould-Ward, lighting design by five-time Tony Award-winner Natasha Katz, scenic design by Stanley A. Meyer, sound design by John Petrafesa Jr. and music supervision by Michael Kosarin.


The theatrical production tells the beloved story of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped in a spell placed by an enchantress.


Townsperson and Enchanted Object Hannah Jewel Kohn, who has previously performed in Entwined and Joseph…Dreamcoat, shared with Dance Informa reasons why people in San Francisco and Kansas City should take every opportunity to see the show.


 “The beautiful production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is a must-see this summer! The show has captured the hearts of many and left audiences with a renewed sense of hope,” Kohn said. “It is a classic tale sending a message to all ages of the importance in looking past someone’s exterior and instead to look directly into their heart.”


She continued, “In today’s busy, fast-paced world, it’s important to remember to be kind and have compassion towards everyone! This show is incredibly inspiring! I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing a range of emotions from audience members –laughing hysterically to tears of joy. It’s a show that leaves you feeling better than you did before you sat down!”


Kohn is also a teaching artist for Broadway Connection, an organization that coordinates local masterclasses and workshops with talented and successful Broadway artists at local dance schools and companies. When asked why student dancers would enjoy one of her Broadway Connection masterclasses, Kohn said her classes provide a “safe, supportive, challenging and fun environment.”


“I absolutely love to teach! I am passionate and hope to inspire as many students as I can!” she exclaimed. “I love being on faculty as a BC teacher as it affords me the opportunity to connect with beautiful faces across the country! There is nothing more rewarding than the wonderful energy in the room when students are exploring their gifts with each other.”


Kohn recalls how she was personally impacted when meeting a professional Broadway dancer when she was a student. “I can remember when a cast member from Wicked came to my hometown studio. The masterclass was life-changing; the excitement of learning original choreography while having fun was incredible!”


She urges everyone who can to take her BC masterclass and to come see her perform. “Beauty and the Beast will be closing July 20, 2016, so now is the time before it’s too late. I promise you will walk away exhilarated, entertained, energized… all while having the time of your life!”


For more information on the tour of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, visit BeautyAndTheBeastOnTour.com. For further details on Kohn and Broadway Connection, head to www.broadwayconnection.net.


Learn more about Hannah Jewel Kohn’s pre-show rituals in this Dance Informa Magazine article from April 2016.


Photo: The cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Photo by Matthew Murphy, courtesy of Hannah Jewel Kohn.