Belle is the female protagonist of Beauty and the Beast. She is often appalled with Gaston's incessant flirting. She is trapped in the Beast's castle in place of her father. While there she befriends Lumiere, Cogsworth, Mrs. Potts and Chip. She falls in love with the Beast and, after they kiss, he transforms back to his human form.
The musical premiered on Broadway on April 18, 1994 at the Palace Theatre with Susan Egan as the original Belle. Since then many actresses including Deborah Gibson, Toni Braxton, Andrea McArdle, Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Christy Carlson Romano and Ashley Brown have played the role on Broadway. The show closed on July 29, 2007 at the Lunt-Fountanne Theater with Anneliese van der Pol as the show's final Belle.
Overall, Belle's role was the same as in the film, although some differences included Belle politely refusing Gaston's hand in marriage instead of tricking him into falling into a mud pool, joining Lumiere and dancing along with the dishes and silverwares during the Be Our Guest musical number instead of just sitting at the dining table and merely observing the spectacle, and her being injured by the Beast when she entered the West Wing before fleeing instead of merely being scared off. Additionally, her role is expanded in the musical with songs "No Matter What" (cut in touring productions), "Home" and "A Change in Me".
Belle is also without Philippe in the stage version, instead knitting a "lucky" scarf for Maurice to wear during his trip to the fair. When Maurice is attacked by wolves before becoming prisoner within the Beast's castle, his scarf is lost in the woods, and eventually found by LeFou. When LeFou is spotted in town with the scarf, he reveals to Belle the whereabouts in which he found it, prompting her to search for her potentially endangered father.
When given the library, Belle also reveals "King Arthur" to be amongst her favorite stories.