Broadway.com has learned that On the Record star Ashley Brown is moving on to another Disney musical—she will be the next Belle in Beauty and the Beast. Brown is scheduled to start performances on September 20.
"When I was told I almost fainted," Brown told Broadway.com. "I was freaking out. Disney is the only reason I am where I am. They've always been my biggest fan. They've been so supportive of me as a person and my career. They are giving me this opportunity to star on Broadway. I've dreamt of this since I was six. I am so excited."
Brown has been earning positive reviews for her performance in the national tour of the Disney compilation musical On the Record, which closes July 31 in Denver, Colorado. In the show, one of the songs she sings is "A Change In Me" from Beauty and the Beast. Her previous musical theater credits include Candide, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Violet and Sweeney Todd as well as St. Louis Muny mountings of Meet Me in St. Louis, Guys and Dolls, Side by Side by Sondheim and Crazy For You.
Beauty and the Beast currently stars Brooke Tansley as Belle and Steve Blanchard as the Beast.