THE LION KING North American Tour Sells Out Seattle Engagement
Disney's THE LION KING continues to reign across North America with a sold-out engagement in Seattle, which concluded on Sunday, April 6 at The Paramount Theatre. The triumphant four-week return grossed more than $6.7 million at the box office and entertained more than 90,000 patrons during 32 performances. The award-winning musical returned to Seattle following a seven-week sold-out premiere in 2005 and a successful five-week return in 2009 at The Paramount Theatre.
It is estimated that the Seattle engagement of THE LION KING generated a $21 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 3.27 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area's economy.
Josh LaBelle, Executive Director of Seattle Theatre Group (STG), owner/operators of The Paramount Theatre, noted, "Seattle often uses the phrase 'art means business' and this is an extraordinary example of just how much business the arts generate. Not only do these numbers represent spending that stimulates the local economy, but it also represents jobs for people representing every imaginable area in the arts - from technicians to stagehands and beyond. It is also rewarding to note that while the economic indicators are strong, the outreach and community engagement STG was able to offer, conducted by members of THE LION KING company during their four weeks in Seattle, made a significant deposit into arts education for our kids."
"It is sincerely gratifying to see that the response to this theatrical phenomenon is just as strong as when it first premiered in Seattle nearly 10 years ago," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We thank the Seattle community, who have always embraced THE LION KING so warmly, for another incredible engagement and we look forward to returning to the Pacific Northwest in the near future."
The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed in excess of $1 billion to date. After 12 years on the road, THE LION KING continues to play to standing room only houses throughout North America. The current schedule is listed below.
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 www.LionKing.com.