ABC’s “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” has found its Lumière, Cogsworth and Mrs. Potts in Martin Short (“Only Murders in the Building”), David Alan Grier (“In Living Color”) and country music star Shania Twain, respectively.
Rounding out the ensemble cast are Rizwan Manji (“Schitt’s Creek”) as Gaston’s loyal sidekick, LeFou; Jon Jon Briones (“Ratched”) as Belle’s loving father, Maurice; and Leo Abelo Perry (2022’s “Cheaper by the Dozen”), playing Mrs. Potts’ son Chip.
Presented by the anthology series The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour reimagining of the beloved story of “Beauty and the Beast” will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios and will air Thursday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC, with next-day viewing on Disney+.
As previously announced, five-time Grammy and Oscar-winning singer-songwriter H.E.R. will portray Belle. Josh Groban — the Tony, Emmy and Grammy-nominated artist — will play the Beast, while Tony and Grammy nominee Joshua Henry has been tapped to play Gaston. EGOT winner Rita Moreno will serve as the night’s narrator. Jon M. Chu will executive produce the hybrid animated/live-action special and Hamish Hamilton is set to direct, taking viewers on a memorable journey through the classic enchanted tale.
Short is a two-time Emmy-winning comedian and actor, who has had a prolific television, film and theater career since his “Saturday Night Live” breakout more than three decades ago. He has also won a Tony for his role in the revival of “Little Me.” Currently, he stars opposite Steve Martin and Selena Gomez in Hulu’s popular “Only Murders in the Building.”
Grier is a Tony-winning theater, TV and comedic icon. He was a principal cast member in the Emmy-winning sketch comedy show “In Living Color.” He starred in all three seasons of NBC’s “The Carmichael Show” and appeared in the network’s Emmy-winning live television production of “The Wiz Live!” as the Cowardly Lion. Grier currently co-starring in FX’s “The Patient,” opposite Steve Carell, and is set to headline and executive produce a limited series adaptation of “A Soldier’s Story” for Sony Pictures TV.
Twain is a five-time Grammy winner and one of music’s most renowned trailblazers. With five albums released and more than 100 million albums sold worldwide, she remains the top-selling female country pop artist of all time. Twain was the first artist in history to release three consecutive diamond certified albums. In July, Netflix released “Shania Twain: Not Just a Girl,” a career-spanning documentary on Twain’s life and career with an accompanying highlights album. In late September, the musician released “Waking Up Dreaming,” a single from her forthcoming album.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of when Disney Animation’s “Beauty and the Beast” became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. The film went on to win the Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture — Musical or Comedy, while the theme song “Beauty and the Beast” won the Best Original Song Oscar in 1992.
“Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Executive producers also include Hamilton, Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan. H.E.R. serves as a producer.