Josh Groban, Rita Moreno and Broadway star Joshua Henry are joining the cast of the “Beauty and the Beast” 30th anniversary special, Disney revealed Friday at the D23 Expo.
Groban will star as the Beast, Moreno will narrate, and Henry will play the villainous Gaston. They join previously announced singer/songwriter H.E.R. as Belle.
Presented by The Wonderful World of Disney, the two-hour special will be taped in front of a live audience at Disney Studios and will air Thursday, Dec. 15 from 8-10 p.m. ET on ABC and stream on Disney+ the next day.
Jon M. Chu will executive produce and Hamish Hamilton is set to direct. Additional talent will be announced at a later date.
The Grammy-winning Groban made his Broadway debut in 2016 with a Tony-nominated starring role in “Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812.” In spring 2023, he’ll return to Broadway as the lead in “Sweeney Todd.”
Henry is best known for his Tony-nominated leading roles in “Carousel,” “The Scottsboro Boys” and “Violet,” and for playing Aaron Burr in “Hamilton.” He played Roger Bart in Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Tick, Tick, Boom” and Jerlamarel opposite Jason Momoa in Apple TV+’s “See.” He is currently appearing on Broadway in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Into The Woods.”
The celebrated EGOT winner Moreno just wrapped production on feature films “Eighty for Brady” with Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, and “Fast X,” where she plays Vin Diesel’s grandmother. Last year, she co-starred and was an executive producer on Steven Spielberg’s remake of “West Side Story.”
“Beauty and the Beast” became the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the 1992 Academy Awards, where it won Best Original Song for its self-titled theme song.
“Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” is produced by Done+Dusted in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Executive producers are Chu, Hamilton, Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft and Katy Mullan. H.E.R. serves as a producer.