Upon hearing that Disney was creating a live-action version of its animated Beauty and the Beast musical, my first thought was: What will composer Alan Menken do differently than he has already done in the now-classic 1991 original (which won him Oscars for song and score) or the 1994 Broadway stage version (which earned Tony nominations for best musical and score)? For this story in the current issue of Variety, I interviewed Menken, Disney music executive Mitchell Leib, and music supervisor Matt Sullivan for a behind-the-scenes look at the film’s new songs and the somewhat darker, more emotional dramatic score.
In early December, I visited a fun scoring session with songwriters Alan Menken and Glenn Slater for the new comedy musical series Galavant. This piece goes behind the scenes to explain how difficult it is, and all the work that goes into producing a weekly musical for TV. I love delving into the history of these things, so I mentioned ABC’s landmark That’s Life and Cop Rock series right up front.