“Beauty and the Beast” Returns to Tokyo 12 Years After Successful Premiere Engagement

Disney's Beauty and the Beast continues to beguile audiences in Tokyo as it returned to the Japanese city last night at the Shki Natsu Theatre.   During its 1995 premiere engagement, show played over 3,500 performances and welcomed more than 3.5 million guests.   The production moves to Tokyo from Kyoto (closed in May 2010) where it had a successful run of almost 300,000 patrons in only 366 performances.   Beauty and the Beast in Tokyo is produced by Shiki Theatre Company. The show, translated into Japanese, is comprised entirely of local cast and crew.

More than 27 million people all over the world have seen Beauty and the Beast, proving it to be one of the most successful and enduring stage musicals of all time.   The musical opened at Broadway's Palace Theatre on April 14, 1994 and quickly became a box office smash hit, playing over 5,000 performances and becoming one of Broadway's top 10 longest running shows before completing its record-setting 13 year run in 2007.   Since its debut, Beauty and the Beast has earned an amazing $1.5 billion worldwide.

Around the world Beauty and the Beast has played more than   120 cities in 21 countries, including triumphant runs in   Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, the U.S. and the United Kingdom. In 1999, Beauty and the Beast became the first Broadway musical to perform in Beijing, China in Chinese.   The show has been translated into eight languages including Dutch, Spanish, Japanese, German, Portuguese, Korean, and Russian.

In addition to these notable professional productions, Beauty and the Beast is among the most performed titles by amateur and school theatre companies in the US and abroad.   More than 5500 productions worldwide have been licensed since 2004 through Disney's licensing partner, Music Theater International.

Based on the Oscar®-nominated Disney animated film, Beauty and the Beast features Alan Menken's Academy Award®-winning score, songs by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman, plus songs written especially for the stage by Alan Menken and Tim Rice.