Earlier this evening, Disney legend Alan Menken kicked off a new series at Lincoln Center in New York City titled ‘Artist to Artist’ with the premise that a newcomer to the industry would have the opportunity to interview a master of the craft.
While the majority of the interview included Menken recalling his storied legacy in the world of musical theatre, the closing end of the production ended on what Menken is currently working on. Of the numerous projects Menken was able to recall (the Tangled Disney Cruise Line show and animated series not among them), one he spoke at length about was the Beauty and the Beast live action remake starring Emma Watson.
Menken said he created three new songs from the production with writing partner Tim Rice. Explaining that the movie would include songs from the classic animated film, but not the theatrical production, Menken noted that the song he would have liked to have included was ‘If I Can’t Love Her.’ It wouldn’t work in the new production because ‘the Beast’s moment in the film is a much later moment — it would not be if I can’t love her, it’d be I love her but — damn it — I’m letting her go — so that lyric wouldn’t really work with that music.’ Instead, Menken and Rice wrote ‘Forever More’ in which Beast sings about finally knowing what love is. One of the other new songs is ‘Days in the Sun,’ which Menken described as a lullaby in which all the enchanted objects in the castle sing about remembering life before the curse.
Beauty and the Beast‘s all-star cast includes Emma Watson as Belle, Luke Evans as Gaston, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Dan Stevens as Beast, Stanley Tucci as Cadenza, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Kevin Kline as Maurice and Audra McDonald as Garderobe. It opens in theaters March 17, 2017.