BWW Review: Disney's THE LION KING Concludes a Triumphant Sold-Out Engagement at Detroit Opera House!
Disney's The Lion King concluded a sold-out engagement on Sunday, February 26th at The Detroit Opera House where it had a triumphant four-week return that grossed over $6.8 million at the box office and entertained more 84,000 theatre goers during thirty-two performances. It is the fourth time for the show to be here and the Motor City loves it more with every appearance.
"We are always happy to work with Disney to bring spectacular productions like The Lion King to the city," stated Alan Lichtenstein, Executive Director for Nederlander Detroit. "This year's incredible engagement really proves that Detroit has found its roar. We're happy to be a part of the Motor City's vibrant and growing entertainment industry."
According to a Touring Broadway League report figure, Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.52 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan economy. It is estimated that the Detroit engagement of The Lion King generated an economic benefit of more than $23 million to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatregoers and production staff.
"We were thrilled to play Detroit for a fourth time, where The Lion King has always been so warmly embraced," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We are overwhelmed by the enduring response to the show and thank the Detroit community and our partners at Broadway in Detroit and Nederlander for another sensational engagement."
In its 20th year, The Lion King is one of the most popular stage musicals in the world and when this tour visited Detroit, it did not fail expectations. The moment that Buyi Zama steps on stage as Rafiki and starts the show with "Circle of Life," the audience knows they are in for a magical night of wonder. Mark Campbell as Scar is brilliant and his "Be Prepared" is reprise worthy. Dashaun Young as Simba is outstanding and his "Endless Night" is one of the absolute highlights of the show. It truly is an ensemble show and the entire cast is phenomenal to watch because they become the animals of Africa and audience forgets they are watching people on stage. It is a fascinating and beautiful show from beginning to end.
Being here in Detroit for four weeks the cast also gave back their time to the city. Lion King cast member John Sloan III (founder of the Helping Hands Campaign and Detroit native) helped bring other cast members together with Patrick "Patcasso" Hunter (engineer, performance painter, and Detroit native) for a day-long arts workshop in partnership with The Future Project students. The students received instruction in voice, dance, drama, technical theatre, and design thinking. The purpose was to grow a new non-profit initiative to use art as a catalyst for social change by using nationally renowned artists making a direct impact on the Detroit community. For more information on The Helping Hands Campaign, visit www.helpinghandscampaign.org.
For more information on future Broadway in Detroit shows, visit www.BroadwayInDetroit.com.
Photo Credit: Joan Marcus