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The Lion King Celebrates Opening in Seoul, Korea

The Lion King opened Saturday night, October 28th in Seoul, Korea as the premiere production at the new Charlotte Theatre at LotteWorld, Seoul's first commercial venue dedicated to musical theatre.  The Lotte Corporation built the theatre with The Lion King in mind as its debut production. 

Performed in Korean by Korean actors, the engagement is produced locally by Shiki Theatrical Productions, in association with Disney Theatrical Productions. Shiki is based in Tokyo and operates under the direction of Keita Asari.  Disney Theatrical Productions is the producer of the award-winning Broadway show.

"Three years ago The Lotte Group came to me with dreams of building a musical theatre in Seoul," said Thomas Schumacher, President, Disney Theatrical Productions.  "About the same time Kieta Asari, who has been successfully presenting The Lion King in Japan for over seven years, told me he wanted to produce our show in Korea.  They got together, and it is gratifying to see these two cross-cultural groups working together as one team to bring The Lion King to yet another new international audience."

The Korean production of The Lion King marks the twelfth first-class mounting of the show, taking it to a ninth country and in its fifth language (following English, Japanese, German, and Dutch).   The show marks Disney's third first-class production in Korea, following Beauty and the Beast in 2004 and Elton John and Tim Rice's Aida in 2005.  Aida broke the local record for the longest running Broadway musical.

Shiki Theatrical Productions produces The Lion King in Tokyo, which holds the record for longest running musical in Japan and is the second-longest running company of the musical in the world.  Shiki also produced a second company of The Lion King, which broke records in Osaka, Fukuoka, and Nagoya.

The show is the winner of over 70 major awards worldwide and has become a global phenomenon seen by over 34 million people. In addition to Broadway, its two national tours and Tokyo, The Lion King can currently be seen in London and Hamburg. Two new productions of the show will premiere in 2007, including Johannesburg, South Africa, in June, and Paris, France in October.

Further information about Disney's productions can be found at www.disneyonbroadway.com

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