Skip To Content
The Schmooze

Zooey Deschanel Will Star As Belle In A Live Concert Version Of ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Zooey Deschanel, a woman whose comedic talents have long been gravely undervalued due to sexism but who nevertheless named her first child “Elsie Otter,” will star as Belle in a concert version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

Disney announced on Monday that Deschanel will star as the bug-eyed French prisoner/reading tutor in a live concert version of the musical that will play for just two nights at the Hollywood Bowl on May 25 and 26. This concert performance comes just a year after the live action “Beauty and the Beast” that starred Emma Watson, the actress whom our society has inadvertently allowed to become the most famous feminist alive. Deschanel, Watson, and the original voice of Disney’s Belle, Paige O’Hara, have all stepped into a role created by the legendary Jewish composter/lyricist team Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, who created the extraordinary 1991 album that made “Beauty and the Beast” such an enduring success.

Deschanel will be joined by a starry cast, including Kelsey Grammer as Lumiere, Taye Diggs as Gaston, Jane Krakowski as Mrs. Potts, and The Voice’s Anthony Evans as the beast. Interestingly, as contemporary casting makes for a more racially diverse group of actors, casting directors continue to see Belle as white.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.