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Casting Announced For THE LION KING In Seattle

Casting is announced today for the Seattle engagement of Disney's THE LION KING. Seattle's most eagerly awaited stage production ever will leap onto the Paramount Theatre stage from Wednesday, February 11 through Sunday, March 15. The media opening night is Friday, February 13 at 8 pm. This Seattle engagement is one of seven current productions running worldwide along with New York, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Paris and Fukuoka.

The malevolent and evil "Scar" will be played by Timothy Carter, whose credits include THE THREE MUSKETEERS and MACBETH with The Acting Company; KING LEAR, AS YOU LIKE IT, and JULIUS CAESAR at Colorado Shakespeare Festival; RICHARD III and MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR at Nebraska Shakespeare Festival; and HAY FEVER at Westport County Playhouse. Dionne Randolph will play the lion king "Mufasa." Mr. Randolph's credits include SMOKEY JOE'S CAFE, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and ONCE ON THIS ISLAND. Phindile Mkhize, a native of South Africa, is the wise "Rafiki." Ms. Mkhize has traveled to Germany, Australia, Holland and Amsterdam performing and sharing her talents, and her credits include THE LION KING Soundtrack ‘94, SARAFINA 2; MAMA, MARIA, MARIA and WOZAMYFOHLOZA.

The meerkat "Timon" will be played by Mark Shunock, who has appeared in productions of ROMANCE, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, PRINCESS TURANDOT, THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, HOWIE THE ROOKIE and LOVELACE: THE MUSICAL. Tony Freeman, who will portray "Zazu", has previously played the role on Broadway in more than 1,300 performances. Mr. Freeman recently performed in Kander and Ebb's new musical ALL ABOUT US and in CAROLINE, OR CHANGE in Los Angeles and San Francisco. And Ben Lipitz, is "Pumbaa," the warthog; Mr. Lipitz' stage credits include RED, HOT AND BLUE, JUST SO, ART, DIRTY BLONDE, LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR, and A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM.

Dan'yelle Williamson, a native of Tampa, FL and a graduate of The Boston Conservatory, is the lioness "Nala" and was recently seen in WICKED in Chicago. Mufasa's son, "Simba," will be played by André Jackson, who is an alumnus of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and has numerous Broadway, film and television credits.

The three hyenas will be played by: RAndy Donaldson ("Banzai"), whose past credits include FIVE GUYS NAMED MOE and Broadway's WONDERFUL TOWN and ANNIE GET YOUR GUN; Jayne Trinette ("Shenzi"), whose credits include CAROLINE OR CHANGE, AIN'T MISBEHAVIN' and NUNCRACKERS; and Andrew Frace ("Ed"), whose stage credits include FINDING NEMO: THE MUSICAL, ROALD DAHL'S WILLY WONKA, HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING AND RAGTIME.

Performances in the role of "Young Simba" will be alternated between Chaz Marcus Fleming and Marquis Kofi Rodriguez. Mr. Fleming has studied acting and dance at the Harlem School for the Arts and has appeared in commercials and print ads for The Gap and Toys"R"Us. Mr. Rodriguez has been seen in "Law & Order: SVU," the upcoming feature film Phoebe in Wonderland, and numerous commercials. Performances in the role of "Young Nala" will be alternated between Sadé LouAnn Murray and Ah-Niyah Neal. Ms. Murray is an 11 year-old from Springfield, MA and is making her professional debut in THE LION KING. Ms. Neal, a native of Hempstead, NY and a student at The Harlem School of the Arts, is also making her professional debut in THE LION KING.

Now in its second sold-out decade in New York, THE LION KING is the winner of six Tonyâ Awards including Best Musical, eight Drama Desk Awards, six Outer Critics Circle Awards, the New York Drama Critics award for Best Musical, the Evening Standard Award for the Theatrical Event of the Year, two Olivier Awards, a Theatre World Award, the Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography, two Drama League Awards and a Grammyâ Award for Best Musical Show Album.

Director Julie Taymor became the first woman in Broadway history to win the Tony® Award for Best Director of a Musical. Taymor, along with Michael Curry, created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. Choreography is by Garth Fagan, scenic design is by Richard Hudson, costume design is by Julie Taymor and lighting design is by Donald Holder. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated film and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay for THE LION KING. The score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from the 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.

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