Tie your napkin ’round your neck, cherie, and we’ll provide the rest…
And the rest is rare footage of Broadway (and acting) legends Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach recording “Be Our Guest” for 1991’s Beauty and the Beast.
Composer Alan Menken describes the recording session as “musical theater heaven,” and a quick glance at the footage above proves him right. The clip is from the new documentary Howard, which is making its world premiere at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival and tells the life story of lyricist Howard Ashman, who wrote the lyrics to Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid, and Aladdin before his tragic death at 39 from AIDS.
The clip is a joyous glimpse of how a magical movie moment was created. “We created the soundtrack for Beauty and the Beast like a Broadway cast album,” director Kirk Wise explains.
If you want a glimpse of Mrs. Potts and Lumiere in action — sorry, Lansbury and Orbach — watch the segment above.
Howard, directed by Don Hahn, premieres this month at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City.