Nick Afoa, Josslyn Hlenti & More Set for THE LION KING in Brisbane, Begin. 9/26

Nick Afoa, Josslyn Hlenti & More Set for THE LION KING in Brisbane, Begin. 9/26

Today, Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions, travelled to Brisbane to announce that Disney's landmark musical event THE LION KING will come to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) from September 26, 2014

Director Julie Taymor's vision of the African savannah comes to life in this locally-crafted production, featuring the most multicultural cast of any Australian-produced stage musical to date.

"We are thrilled to bring The Lion King to Brisbane for the first time ever and I know that Queensland audiences will love this new Australian production of Julie Taymor's visionary stage event", said Mr. Schumacher.

QPAC Chief Executive, John Kotzas said: "We welcomed Disney here with Mary Poppins in 2012 and it was a huge success; we are very pleased and proud that Disney are now coming back to QPAC to present the ' jewel in their crown', The Lion King.

This Australian production is the 10th production of THE LION KING running concurrently around the world, with shows on Broadway and on tour across North America, Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London's West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo.

NICK AFOA (from South Auckland, New Zealand) will play Simba, JOSSLYNN HLENTI (Durban, South Africa) will play Nala, BUYI ZAMA (Durban, South Africa) will play Rafiki, ROB COLLINS (Darwin, Australia) will play Mufasa, JOSH QUONG TART (Sydney, Australia) will play Scar and TERRY YEBOAH (Domaa Ahenkro, Ghana) will play Banzai.

The ensemble cast will feature representatives from Zimbabwe, China, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Brazil and the United States.

Other principals will be CAMERON GOODALL as Zazu, RUSSELL DYKSTRA as Pumbaa JAMIE MCGREGOR as Timon, RUVARASHE NGWENYA as Shenzi and ANDRE JEWSON as Ed.

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.

THE LION KING and Wotif.com have partnered for the first time to create new packages combining ticket, hotel and flight in one convenient booking at www.wotif.com/lionking.

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