As it enters its 18th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant. It was the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, a threshold also crossed by the North American tour and most recently the Hamburg production. The Broadway production is routinely the #1 Broadway show in a given week, a feat previously unimaginable for a show at this stage in its life.
Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 75 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 112 years. Having played 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any entertainment title in box office history.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Australia and on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan. The Australian production marks the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s history.
THE LION KING is playing at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717 or visit online, LionKing.com.
ABOUT THE LION KING
The pre-Broadway engagement of THE LION KING had its world premiere on July 13, 1997 in Minneapolis at the historic Orpheum Theatre. The pre-Broadway engagement ran for eight weeks, closing on August 31, 1997. The show officially opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997.
THE LION KING moved in its entirety, including all 52 cast members and the entire 24-member orchestra, from the New Amsterdam Theatre on June 4, 2006, and began performances nine days later at its new home in the Minskoff Theatre on June 13, 2006.
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”
The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
“Scar” is played by GARETH SAXE. ALTON FITZGERALD WHITE is “Mufasa,” NTELISENG NKHELA is the baboon shaman “Rafiki,” JEFFREY KUHN portrays the hornbilled bird “Zazu,” BEN JEFFREY is the warthog “Pumbaa” and FRED BERMAN is the meerkat “Timon.” Mufasa’s son, “Simba,” the lion prince born to be king, is played by AARON NELSON, and CHANTEL RILEY is the lioness “Nala.”
The show also features JAMES BROWN-ORLEANS (“Banzai”), BONITA J. HAMILTON (“Shenzi”) and ENRIQUE SEGURA (“Ed”). The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between NATHANIEL LOGAN McINTYRE and ISAIAH D. NEGRON and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between K’LYNN JACKMAN and SHAHADI WRIGHT JOSEPH.
For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.
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