We were there when they announced the cast. We were there when we were teased with trailers. We squealed; we giggled; we cried with joy.
And now, Academy Award-winning composer Alan Menken has added three new songs in the Live-Action Beauty and the Beast.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Menken talked about three new ballads that he wrote with lyricist Tim Rice. Menken also penned the songs in the original animated version in 1991 with the late Howard Ashman.
First of the three songs is entitled Our Song Lives On which are performed by Emma Watson’s character, Belle, and Maurice, who is played by Kevin Kline. Menken reports that it is done in a number of forms. According to Menken, “The first time it’s sung, it’s Belle’s father singing as he’s completing a music box, and basically it’s [about], ‘How does a moment live forever? How do you hang on to precious moments?’ Then, it’s reprised by Belle, and then it’s the song that’s actually over the end credits at the end of the movie.”
The next song is sung by the Beast, played by Dan Stevens, and happens when he has come to love Belle, and lets her go back to her father. The song is entitled For Evermore and Menken sees it as the Beast, “basically singing about how he now knows what love is, as he watches her leave, and he’s climbing up the turret of the castle as she recedes into the distance, just watching her go further and further away.”
The last new song, called Days in the Sun, is about that moment when everything inside the castle, including Belle, goes to sleep. Menken says, “Basically, everybody in the castle is having memories of what it used to be when they had their days in the sun. It’s sort of a combination of a lullaby and a remembrance of happier days for everybody.”
Aside from Emma Watson, Kevin Kline and Dan Stevens, Hollywood heavyweights are also joining the talented cast. Luke Evans will play the main antagonist Gaston; Ewan McGregor is Lumiere, Stanley Tucci is Cadenza, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is Plumette. Legendary actress Emma Thompson will be taking on the role of Mrs. Potts, and Sir Ian McKellen will be playing Cogsworth.
As if that is not a treat in itself, six-time Tony Award Winner and Broadway star Audra McDonald will play Madame De Garderobe. She will be playing an important role in the beginning. Menken says that it is during that moment in the prologue before the spell, “We’re actually at an event at the Prince’s castle, where the Prince is about to be turned into the Beast, and he’s in his very selfish and self-indulgent phase of his life, and we see that, and we have the magnificent Audra McDonald singing this number.”
Beauty and the Beast will be out in theaters on March 17, 2017.