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Patrick R. Brown, L. Steven Taylor, Tshidi Manye, Jelani Remy and More to Star in Disney's THE LION KING at the Kennedy Center, 6/17-8/17

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Patrick R. Brown, L. Steven Taylor, Tshidi Manye, Jelani Remy and More to Star in Disney's THE LION KING at the Kennedy Center, 6/17-8/17

Casting has been announced for the Washington, D.C. engagement of Disney's The Lion King. The stage production returns to the Kennedy Center from June 17 to August 17, 2014. The press opening night is Saturday, June 21, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. The show's nine-week premiere engagement in 2008 played a sold-out run in the Kennedy Center Opera House.

The production features Patrick R. Brown as "Scar," L. Steven Taylor as "Mufasa," Tshidi Manye as "Rafiki," Andrew Gorell as "Zazu," Ben Lipitz as "Pumbaa," Nick Cordileone as "Timon," Jelani Remy as "Simba," Nia Holloway as "Nala," Keith Bennett as "Banzai," Rashada Dawan as "Shenzi," and Robbie Swift as "Ed."

The role of "Young Simba" is alternated between Jordan A. Hall and Nathaniel Logan McIntyre and the role of "Young Nala" is alternated between Nya Cymone Carter and Tyrah Skye Odoms.

The North American touring productions of Disney's The Lion King have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and have grossed more than $1 billion to date. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, Disney's The Lion King now proudly makes its Washington, D.C. return at the Kennedy Center Opera House.

In its 17th year, Disney's 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 10th 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, with productions 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 LionKing.com.

NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH APRIL 2015:

Toronto - Princess of Wales Theatre

April 30 - June 15, 2014

Washington, D.C. - Kennedy Center Opera House

June 17 - August 17, 2014

Montreal - Place des Arts

August 19 - September 7, 2014

Boston - Boston Opera House

September 9 - October 12, 2014

Columbus - Ohio Theatre

October 14 - November 9, 2014

Milwaukee - Milwaukee Theatre

November 11 - December 7, 2014

San Antonio - Majestic Theatre

December 10, 2014 - January 5, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale - Broward Center for the Performing Arts

January 7 - February 1, 2015

Memphis - The Orpheum Theatre

February 3 - March 1, 2015

Louisville - Kentucky Center

March 3 - 29, 2015

Cincinnati - Aronoff Center

March 31 - April 26, 2015

Disney's The Lion King runs June 17 to August 17, 2014. Performances will take place Tuesday through Sunday evenings in the Opera House at 7:30 p.m. Matinee performances on Saturday and Sunday afternoons will run at 1:30 p.m. There will be additional matinee performances at 1:30pm on July 2 and August 13. There will be no evening performances on August 17 and no matinee or evening performances on July 4. Tickets starting at $40 are on sale at the Kennedy Center box office or by calling Instant Charge at (202) 467-4600. Patrons living outside the Washington metropolitan area may dial toll-free at (800) 444-1324 or visit us online at www.kennedy-center.org.

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