Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald, who also starred in television’s Private Practice, is in final negotiations to join the cast of Disney’s live action version of Beauty and the Beast.
Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s buffoonish and loyal sidekick. The live action movie, directed by Bill Condon, is aligning itself closely with the 1991 animated classic, and while Disney hasn't officially said it will be a musical, this is clearly another note in that direction.
McDonald is a stage star that has won acclaim for her voice chops and dramatic chops, reflected in her recent Tony wins: best performance by an actress in a musical for Porgy and Bess in 2012 and best performance by an actress in a play for Lady Day in Emerson’s Bar and Grill in 2014. She also has Tonys for her work in Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, Carousel and others. (She has six, winning three of them by the age of 28.)
In Beauty, McDonald will be playing Garderobe, the French word for wardrobe.
In Disney’s fairy tale, the Prince is placed under a curse which sees his servants turned into various objects in the castle. The lady-in-waiting turned into Garderobe. She, along with Mrs Potts, a kettle, assist Belle in her initial loneliness and is part of the "Be Our Guest" showstopper.
The character also sings a solo as part of Human Again, a song which was deleted from the 1991 movie but later added to the 2002 special edition DVD.