THE LION KING Will Welcome New Cast Members to Broadway Next Week
Smith returns to the Broadway company, where he previously performed the role of Scar beginning in 2000, having also played the role on the North American Tour. He performs through Sunday, October 9, at which point current Broadway cast member Gareth Saxe will resume the role. Pow was the second actor to play Zazu on the North American Tour beginning in 2003 and has also played the role on Broadway and London's West End. Walker is new to The Lion King, making her Broadway debut as Nala.
From Tuesday, July 12 through Sunday, August 28, Ben Lipitz, who recently celebrated his 5,000th performance as Pumbaa on the North American Tour, will play the role in New York while Broadway's Pumbaa, Ben Jeffrey, joins the Broadway cast of Aladdin.
Derek Smith (Scar). Broadway: The Green Bird (Tony nomination), Ring 'Round the Moon, Jackie, Getting and Spending, Timon of Athens, The Government Inspector. Many Off-Broadway credits include: The Witch Of Edmonton (Calloway Award), The Dance Of Death, Sylvia (Drama League, L.A. Ovation Awards), The Green Bird (Obie Award), King John. Film and TV: Jungle to Jungle, The Stand-In, Hyde in Hollywood, Advice from a Caterpillar, "The Equalizer," Internal Affairs. Derwent Award recipient.
Cameron Pow (Zazu). Cameron rejoins the Broadway company having previously performed in the West End and 1st National Touring productions of The Lion King. Other West End: 2008 Royal Variety Performance (with the cast of The Lion King). Off-Broadway: The 39 Steps (Union Square Theatre), Accidentally, Like A Martyr (Other Side Productions), The Comedy Of Errors, King Lear, The Iliad-Book One (Aquila Theatre Company). Regional/Touring: Henry V, Julius Caesar (Folger Shakespeare Theatre, DC), Art (Theatre Jacksonville, FL). The Tempest, The Wrath Of Achilles, King Lear, The Iliad-Book One, Oedipus (Aquila Touring). Film: Henry, The Dead Part Of You, Autechre. TV: "Falling Water," "Person Of Interest," "Basile," "Deception," "Pan-Am" and the web-series "OM-City" (featured as part of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival N.O.W. series).
Adrienne Walker (Nala), from Jonesboro, Georgia is thrilled to make her Broadway debut! Featured Chicago credits: Porgy & Bess, Iphigenia in Aulis, Agamemnon (Court); The Color Purple (Mercury); Sondheim on Sondheim (Porchlight); Brooklyn the Musical (Towle). Adrienne voices Peanut on the YouTube animated series McTucky Fried High.
Ben Lipitz (Pumbaa, North American Tour). Stage: Red, Hot and Blue (Goodspeed Opera, Papermill Playhouse); Just So (Goodspeed Opera); ART; Dirty Blonde; Laughter on the 23rd Floor; Forum; Cleveland Playhouse, Kennedy Center, Walnut St. Theatre. TV: "The Sopranos," "Law & Order," "100 Centre St.," "Homicide." Film: The Giraffe and Find Me Guilty (with Vin Diesel). Member of The Actors' Studio. Proud member of Actors' Equity.
Ben Jeffrey (Pumbaa, Broadway) is pumped to be making his Broadway debut! Ben holds an MFA (Acting) from Rutgers University, where credits included Antigone, Romeo and Juliet, In the Sawtooths and more. His BFA (Acting/Musical Theater) is from Abilene Christian University where credits included Jane Eyre and Seussical! TV: "The Good Wife," "Louie."
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, The Lion King is playing at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717 or visit LionKing.com.
In its 19th year, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people. 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, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London's West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Mexico City; Shanghai; and on tour across North America and Japan, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 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.
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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