Disney's THE LION KING Plays to Over 80,000 Audience Members During ASU Gammage Run

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Disney's THE LION KING Plays to Over 80,000 Audience Members During ASU Gammage Run

Disney's THE LION KING celebrated its third smash engagement in Tempe, which concluded on Sunday, November 17 at ASU Gammage. The triumphant four-week return entertained more than 80,000 patrons during 32 performances. The majority of theater-goers were Valley residents but also included ticket buyers from all over the Southwest and even Mexico.

It is estimated that the Tempe 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 4.1 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area's economy.

"This recent run of THE LION KING was phenomenal. New patrons as well as long-time attendees were blown away with the major talent of this production. I am thrilled that ASU Gammage's run of THE LION KING meant big business for our local businesses. This amount of economic impact is remarkable," says Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, executive director of ASU Gammage.

"We were thrilled to return to The Valley, where THE LION KING has always been so warmly welcomed and embraced," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We thank the community for another sensational engagement and look forward to returning in the near future."

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 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, 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 18 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

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 in Las Vegas, Madrid and the UK tour and just completed casting the Brazilian production in Sao Paolo.

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."

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