‘Beauty and the Beast’ Special to Have Cameos From OG Stars & Alan Menken — See First Photos

H.E.R., Alan Menken & Paige O'Hara in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'
ABC/Christopher Willard

There may be something there that definitely wasn’t there before in Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration. The original Belle and Gaston, Paige O’Hara, and Richard White, as well as legendary Disney composer Alan Menken, will make special cameos in ABC‘s live-action Beauty and the Beast TV musical on December 15.

Blending live-action with animation, the Beauty and the Beast 30th anniversary special airs Thursday, December 15 at 8/7c on ABC. Menken, O’Hara, and White will appear in the opening number, “Belle,” as townspeople in Belle’s “quiet” French village. Grammy-winner H.E.R. plays the Disney princess, with Broadway star Joshua Henry (Tick, Tick…Boom!) playing Gaston in this iteration.

O’Hara will play the bookshop owner who helps keep Belle’s love of reading alive, and White will play the baker who dishes out the memorable line, “Marie! The baguettes! Hurry up!”

Menken, meanwhile, will appear to play the piano in one of the songs. Make your best bet on which song that is. Our money is on the iconic title track. (Menken created the 1991 flick with late creative partner Howard Ashman). Menken, H.E.R., and O’Hara are pictured on set in the photo above.

ABC promises even more easter eggs referencing the 1991 animated classic (the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars and the reason the Best Animated Picture category exists) in the upcoming special.

Additional cast includes Josh Groban as Beast, Martin Short as Lumière, David Alan Grier as Cogsworth, Shania Twain as Mrs. Potts, Rizwan Manji as Gaston’s loyal sidekick, LeFou, Jon Jon Briones as Belle’s father, Maurice, and Leo Abelo Perry as Chip. The special will also feature narration from EGOT legend Rita Moreno.

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration is taped in front of a live audience. The two-hour animated and live-action blended special will pay tribute to the original Disney Animation’s Beauty and the Beast and its legacy by showcasing the fan-favorite movie, along with new never-before-seen musical performances, brand-new sets, and breathtaking costumes inspired by the classic story. The special will be available for next-day streaming on Disney+.

Check out photos of O’Hara and White rehearsing with H.E.R. in the photos below, which also give a glimpse into how ABC and The Wonderful World of Disney have combined live-action with 2D animation.

Paige O'Hara in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'

ABC/Christopher Willard

Paige O'Hara & Richard White in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'

ABC/Christopher Willard

Paige O'Hara & H.E.R. in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'

ABC/Christopher Willard

Richard White & H.E.R. in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'

ABC/Christopher Willard

Paige O'Hara & H.E.R. in 'Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration'

ABC/Christopher Willard

Beauty and the Beast: A 30th Celebration, Thursday, December 15, 8/7c, ABC, Streaming Next Day, Disney+