THE LION KING North American Tour Celebrates Sold-Out Engagement in Pittsburgh
Disney's The Lion King continues to reign across North America with a sold-out engagement in Pittsburgh, which concluded on Sunday, September 29 at the Benedum Center. The triumphant four-week return grossed over $6.4 million at the box office and entertained more than 85,000 patrons during 32 performances (one of which was tailored to the needs of patrons on the autism spectrum). This was The Lion King's third sold-out engagement in Pittsburgh, following a six-week premiere in 2004 and a six-week run in 2008 at the Benedum Center.
It is estimated that the Pittsburgh engagement of The Lion King generated a $22 million economic benefit to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based upon a Touring Broadway League report which found that, on average, Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.5 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area's economy.
"THE LION KING's third tour in Pittsburgh, once again, has delighted audiences of all ages- both new to seeing the show for the first time and returning 'Lion King' show fans. The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust thanks all of the staff at Disney Theatrical Productions and The Lion King for their help in bringing this outstanding production to the Benedum Center's stage," said Marc L. Fleming, Vice President, Marketing and Communications, with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.
"It is sincerely gratifying to see that the response to this theatrical phenomenon is just as strong as when it first premiered in Pittsburgh nearly 10 years ago," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Distribution, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We were also thrilled to play our second autism-friendly performance outside of New York City and thank our partners at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust for their tireless commitment to this important initiative. Pittsburgh has earned a special place in the history of The Lion King and we look forward to returning to this fantastic city in the near future."
The tour received the following praises for its third engagement. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review commented, "The national touring production remains as fresh, lively and beautiful as a young gazelle leaping across the plains of Africa. "... it's a show that brings the same delight to audiences as it did at its Broadway opening." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette enthused, "Julie Taymor's visionary designs have been around since 1997, yet they never cease to delight and amaze. The enormity of the production -- dozens of puppets huge and small, and the Pride Rock set, for instance -- make the tour a massive undertaking, but it roars on without losing any of its Disney magic."
The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date. After 11 years on the road, The Lion King continues to celebrate unparalleled achievements and delight new audiences throughout North America. The current schedule is listed below.
Disney's The Lion King is part of the PNC Broadway Across America-Pittsburgh series, presented by The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, Broadway Across America and Pittsburgh Symphony. For more information, visit TrustArts.org or call 412-456-6666.
In its 16th 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, 21 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 seven 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, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London's West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo. To date, The Lion King has played 98 cities in 16 countries on every continent except Antarctica.