THE LION KING North American Tour Opens Tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

THE LION KING North American Tour Opens Tomorrow in Washington, D.C.

The return engagement of Disney's THE LION KING opens this week in the Kennedy Center Opera House for a limited nine-week engagement through August 17. In Washington, D.C., THE LION KING plays Tuesdays through Sunday evenings at 7:30pm with 1:30pm matinees on Saturdays and Sundays. There will be 1:30pm matinees on Wednesday, July 2, Wednesday, July 30 and Wednesday, August 13. There will not be a performance on Friday, July 4.

The North American tour will celebrate its 5,000th performance at the Kennedy Center on Sunday, July 13 at 1:30pm, becoming one of the rare few touring productions to achieve this milestone. Since launching in April 2002, THE LION KING North American touring productions have played 137 engagements in 77 cities. The record-breaking tours have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date.

"The Kennedy Center is proud to be the home of the 5,000th touring performance of The Lion King," stated Kennedy Center Vice President for Theater Programming Max Woodward. "We're so happy to offer Washington audiences another opportunity to enjoy this exciting production and I encourage everyone to purchase their tickets soon while they are still available."

Tickets for THE LION KING (currently playing the Kennedy Center Opera House through August 17, 2014), are on sale now 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. The Kennedy Center reminds patrons that the only way to guarantee the authenticity of the ticket is to purchase from one of these authorized ticket outlets.

THE LION KING began as a 1994 animated feature-length film developed and produced by the Walt Disney Company. The story, a coming of age parable set among animals indigenous to its setting, the African savanna, tells the tale of Simba, the lion cub who rises to be the King of the jungle.

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.

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.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

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