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Esteban Oliver to Join Broadway's THE LION KING as 'Zazu' Tomorrow

Esteban Oliver to Join Broadway's THE LION KING as 'Zazu' Tomorrow

Broadway's landmark musical event The Lion King, the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history, is pleased to welcome ESTEBAN OLIVER as Zazu, beginning performances tomorrow, Tuesday, April 1, 2014.

Oliver joins the Broadway company straight from the Madrid production of The Lion King, where he also played Zazu, making him the first Spanish musical theatre actor to perform the same leading role in both a Spanish and Broadway musical production. In celebration of Oliver's bilingualism, for the first time in the history of the Broadway production, Spanish-language surprises will be incorporated into the show.

Ron Kollen, Senior Vice President for Disney Theatrical Productions International says, "We are thrilled to have Esteban Oliver join the Broadway company of The Lion King, bringing his wonderful performance of Zazu to New York audiences. Spanish audiences wholly embraced his hilarious performance in Madrid, and it is a testament to the incredible talent in the Madrid production that one of its leading actors will now be a part of the flagship Broadway production."

ESTEBAN OLIVER's Spanish credits include: Hello Dolly (Ambrose), Beauty and the Beast (Cogsworth), The Producers (u/s Roger, u/s Franz) Phantom of the Opera (Lefevre), Victor Victoria (Sal Andretti) and Mamma Mia! (Bill).

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, 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.

In its 17th year, The Lion King remains ascendant; it is the highest-grossing Broadway show in New York history and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 104 years. 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 eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, and Sydney, Australia. 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. To date, The Lion King has played 18 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, with a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, the stage production of The Lion King has already earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the two highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.

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.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

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