By Michelle Kung
Updated January 18, 2007 at 12:00 PM EST
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Despite the huge success of Disney’s Princess merchandising line, the company is happy with just one regal, doe-eyed songstress on Broadway. Disney Theatrical has just announced it is shuttering its production of Beauty and the Beast on July 29 to make room for a stage production of The Little Mermaid. Amazingly, Beauty — which was slaughtered by critics but adored by tourists — will have played 5,464 performances, making it the sixth-longest-running show in Broadway history. (It’s also given Broadway exposure to such performers as Toni Braxton, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Deborah Gibson, and Donny Osmond — that’s him as Gaston, in the center.) Now, I’m no particular fan of The Little Mermaid — as a kid, I was terrified by mega-Ursula and slunk out of the theater during the finale — but if Disney can come up with an original and creative approach displaying life Under the Sea, a la The Lion King, I’ll be curious to see it.addCredit(“Beauty And The Beast: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images”)

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