Disney's LION KING North American Tour Celebrating Sold-Out Engagement in D.C
Disney's THE LION KING continues to reign across North America with a sold-out run in Washington, D.C., which concluded on Sunday, August 17 at the Kennedy Center Opera House. During the nine-week return engagement, the tour grossed more than $16.5 million at the box office, entertained more than 159,000 patrons and celebrated its 5,000th performance, becoming one of the rare few touring productions to achieve this milestone. The show's nine-week premiere engagement in 2008 played a sold-out run in the Kennedy Center Opera House.
Also during the engagement, THE LION KING had the distinct honor of performing two songs for First Lady Michelle Obama and guests on Friday, July 18 at a Kids' State Dinner at the White House.
Disney Theatrical Productions estimates that the Washington, D.C. engagement of THE LION KING generated a $53.9 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.
"As the tour played its 5,000th performance, it is profoundly gratifying to reflect that THE LION KING has been entertaining and inspiring theatergoers throughout North America for the past 12 years," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We were delighted to celebrate this milestone in D.C. at the Kennedy Center Opera House, and were honored to perform for the First Lady at the White House. The enduring response to the show is overwhelming and we are enormously thankful to the D.C. community and our partners at the Kennedy Center for another sensational engagement."
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 12 years on the road, THE LION KING continues to play to standing room only houses throughout North America.
To learn more about THE LION KING, go to LionKing.com.
ABOUT THE LION KING
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 106 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, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Australia and on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan. 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 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, THE LION KING's more than $5 billion worldwide box office to date, exceeds that of any film or entertainment title in history.
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.