Howard, a documentary that examines the life and work of Oscar-winning lyricist, book writer, and director Howard Ashman, debuts at Tribeca Film Festival April 22. Before then, watch this clip above, capturing Broadway stars Angela Lansbury and Jerry Orbach performing “Be Our Guest” during a recording session for Beauty and the Beast. Lansbury voices the role of the motherly housekeeper Mrs. Potts, with Orbach voicing the maître’d-turned-candlestick Lumiere.
Ashman is best known for his collaborations with composer Alan Menken, which include Off-Broadway’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Little Shop of Horrors and the Disney films The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin. He made his Broadway debut with the short-lived 1986 musical Smile, which he wrote with composer Marvin Hamlisch. Since his death, all of his Disney films have been adapted for Broadway, each of which earned Ashman posthumous Tony Award nominations.
Ashman died on AIDS in 1991 at the age of 40. His two Best Original Song Oscars were for Under The Sea (The Little Mermaid) and the title song for Beauty And The Beast. My favorite Ashman song is the second clip below.