Martin Short and Shania Twain are set to play the world’s most famous candelabra and teapot. The two stars have joined ABC’s upcoming December 15 “Beauty and the Beast” 30th-anniversary special, along with David Alan Grier, Rizwan Manji, Jon Jon Briones, and Leo Abelo Perry.
Short, the Emmy and Tony winner who currently stars in Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building,” will portray the flirtatious French candelabra Lumière, voiced in the original 1991 Disney film by Jerry Orbach. Five-time Grammy-winning country singer Twain will play the teapot Mrs. Potts, whose original voice actor, Angela Lansbury, died last week. Perry, who made his film debut this year in the Disney+ remake of “Cheaper by the Dozen,” will play Potts’ son Chip. Grier, who won a Tony last year for his performance in “A Soldier’s Play,” will portray the majordomo clock Cogsworth, while Jon Jon Briones will play village inventor Maurice, and “Schitt’s Creek” cast member Rizwan Manji will play the character LeFou.
The six join the already announced H.E.R. and Josh Groban, who lead the cast as Belle and the Beast. Joshua Henry will portray the main villain Gaston, while EGOT winner Rita Moreno will serve as the narrator for the production.
First announced this summer, the “Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration” special will adapt the Disney animated film directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise. Although the animated film premiered in 1991, the special celebrates its 1992 Best Picture nomination at the Academy Awards, where it won best original song for its title theme. The Best Picture nomination was historically significant as the first time an animated film was ever in contention for the top Oscar. It remained the only animated film to achieve the feat until 2009, when the category was expanded to include 10 nominees.
The two-hour special will be taped in front of a live studio audience at Disney Studios and feature animated elements in addition to the performances from the cast. Hamis Hamilton directs the special, which Done+Dusted produces in association with Walt Disney Television Alternative and Electric Somewhere. Hamilton, Jon M. Chu, Caitlin Foito, Raj Kapoor, Richard Kraft, and Katy Mullan executive produce, while H.E.R. produces. The special will air December 15 on ABC before being made available to stream on Disney+ the next day.