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THE LION KING Becomes 3rd-Longest Running Broadway Show of All Time; Passes CATS

THE LION KING has surpassed the other feline-centric show to make Broadway history.

As of today's matinee performance, October 31, 2015, THE LION KING has officially hit 7,486 performances on Broadway, making it the third-longest running show in Broadway history. The position was previously held by CATS which closed after 7,485 performances in 2000.

Ahead of THE LION KING are the currently-running 1996 revival of CHICAGO in second place and the original 1988 Broadway production of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA in first. In honor of the milestone, playbills at today's matinee performance of THE LION KING include a special insert letting patrons know they are "part of history."

In its 18th year, The Lion King remains ascendant as 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 80 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 112 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction ofThomas 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; Melbourne, Australia; Basel, Switzerland; Mexico City; and on tour across North America and Japan, for a total of ten productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King's worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, The Lion King is playing at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street).

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.

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From This Author - Sally Henry

BroadwayWorld Atlanta's Senior Editor. Freelance theatre journalist and incorrigible Broadway fangirl calling coffee shops home.

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