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'The Lion King' Finally Roars into 10th Year on Broadway!

Disney's The Lion King can finally celebrate its 10th Anniversary on Broadway tonight, Thursday November 29! Because of the strike, the musical was unable to mark its gala performance on Sunday, November 11 at the Minskoff Theatre.  Since its Broadway opening on November 13, 1997 (preview performances began October 15, 1997),
The Lion King has been seen by 45 million people worldwide.

The Lion King resumes performances tonight! Show times are Wednesday through Saturday at 8PM, matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2PM and Sunday at 1PM and 6:30 PM.  Running time for the production is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Tickets for The Lion King are available at www.DisneyOnBroadway.com, the Minskoff Theatre Box Office, and all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at 212-307-4747.  Prices range from $51.25.-$121.25.  For group sales and information please call 800-439-9000.

In addition to New York City where the show has remained among the top 5 selling shows on Broadway for 10 years, the curtain of The Lion King currently rises seven more times every night all over the world in London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Johannesburg, Paris, and two touring companies throughout the United States.

The Lion King has touched lives all over the world, and we are thrilled to celebrate this milestone" said Thomas Schumacher, Producer, Disney Theatrical Group.  "When my former producing partner, Peter Schneider and I first talked about bringing The Lion King to the stage, we knew Julie Taymor was the only person for the job.  Not only did Julie make The Lion King a Broadway and theatrical phenomenon, she went on to make Broadway history herself as the first woman to ever win a Tony Award for directing a musical.  Ten spectacular years later, The Lion King continues to be a show we are so immensely proud of.  Not only does it open the hearts and minds of everyone who sees it, it has had an enormous impact on the communities it reaches.  Peter and I thank all the many, many people who have been associated with The Lion King over the last decade and we look forward to many more years on Broadway and cities across the globe".

The Lion King has played in 11 different countries: United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Australia, Holland, China, South Korea, South Africa and France.

The Lion King has visited 63 cities around the world and counting…

DOMESTIC: New York, Los Angeles, Denver, Houston, Fort Worth, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Chicaog, Charlotte, Cleveland, Saint Louis, Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Boston, Seattle, Tempe, Buffalo, Costa Mesa, Minneapolis, Sacramento, Baltimore, Portland, Birmingham, Providence, Spokane, Norfolk, San Diego, East Lansing, San Jose, Des Moines, Rochester, San Antonio, Hartford, Tulsa, Philadelphia, Houston, Tucson, Raleigh, Nashville, Orlando, Omaha, Fort Myers, Austin, Jacksonville, Appleton, Honolulu

INTERNATIONAL: Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Nagoya, London, Toronto, Hamburg, Sydney, Melbourne, Scheveningen, Shanghai, Seoul, Johannesburg, Paris

The Lion King has been translated into 5 different languages: Japanese, German, Korean, French and Dutch

The Lion King has won over 70 major awards worldwide including six1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical; eight Drama Desk Awards; six Outer Critics Circle Awards; The New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical; The Evening Standard Award for the Theatrical Event of the Year; two Olivier Awards; The Theatre World Award; The Astaire Award for Outstanding Choreography; two Drama League Awards; Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album of 1998.

The Lion King has become the 9th longest-running musical on Broadway.  The Broadway production of The Lion King played its 4,098th performance on Tuesday, August 21, 2007, surpassing the record held by Miss Saigon to become the 9th longest-running musical in Broadway history.

MILESTONES

BROADWAY November 13, 1997 – The Lion King opened on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre.  Over seven million theatergoers have seen the Broadway production to date.

BROADWAY June 1, 1998 – The Lion King receives six 1998 Tony Awards including Best Musical.  Director Julie Taymor became the first woman in Broadway history to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.

TOKYO December 20, 1998 – The Lion King opens its first international production in Tokyo at the Shiki Haru Theatre (Theatre de Printemps).  It is currently the longest-running show in Tokyo history, seen by over 3 million people.

LONDON October 19, 1999 – The Lion King opens in London at the Lyceum Theatre. There have been 3,400 performances over the last seven years to date.  It has been seen by over 6.5 million people. 

BROADWAY February 24, 1999 – The Lion King receives the 1998 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.  The album would go on to reach Platinum status (over 1 million albums sold).

LOS ANGELES October 19, 2000 – The Lion King opens in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre.  Initially scheduled for a nine month run, it was extended three times and played for 27 months, drawing more than 2 million people.  The Lion King remains the longest running production ever to play at the Pantages Theatre. In 2006, The Lion King returned to the Pantages for another successful engagement.

US TOURS April 27, 2002 – The Lion King kicks off its first national tour in Denver.

US TOURS May 3, 2003 – The Lion King kicks off its second national tour in Chicago.  Each domestic touring company of The Lion King continues to sell out 7-10 markets a year and has been seen by more than 8 million people to date.

BROADWAY June 13, 2006 – The Lion King moves the Broadway production from the New Amsterdam Theatre to the Minskoff Theatre in the heart of Times Square.  The entire move took only 9 days.

CHINA July 18, 2006 – The Lion King opens an English-language production in Shanghai.  The limited engagement marked an historic event for The Lion King, having played 101 performances at Shanghai's Grand Theatre.  It became the longest-running Broadway show to be presented in Shanghai.

JOHANNESBURG June 6, 2007 – The Lion King celebrates 10 triumphant years on Broadway with a special anniversary production in Johannesburg, South Africa, the cultural inspiration for the show.  The South African production of The Lion King is made up entirely of South African performers.  Around the world, The Lion King has featured nearly 100 South African actors in its productions.

PARIS October 4, 2007 – The Lion King opens in France with Le Roi Lion, its first French-language production at Le Mogador Theatre in Paris.

BROADWAY November 11, 2007 – The Lion King schedules 10th year on Broadway Gala Performance

BROADWAY November 29, 2007 – The Lion King finally celebrates 10th year with first performance after 19-day strike and work-stoppage!

The score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from the 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 an album inspired by the animated film, "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of The Lion King score is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, embracing the Academy award-winning "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" and the haunting "Shadowlands."   

Julie Taymor, along with Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for The Lion King.  Scenic design is by Richard Hudson; Lighting design is by Donald Holder; Costume design is by Julie Taymor.  Choreography is by Garth Fagan.  The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay of The Lion King.

Other members of the creative team include: Steve Canyon Kennedy, sound design; Michael Ward, hair and makeup design; Jay Binder, casting; Joseph Church, music director; Robert Elhai, David Metzger and Bruce Fowler, orchestrators.

The pre-Broadway engagement of The Lion King had its world premiere on July 13, 1997 in Minneapolis at the historic Orpheum Theatre.  The pre-Broadway engagement ran for eight weeks, closing on August 31, 1997.  

The Lion King plays Wednesday through Saturday at 8 PM, matinees on Wednesday and Saturday at 2 PM and Sunday at 1 PM and 6:30 PM.  Running time for the production is approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Tickets for The Lion King are available at www.DisneyOnBroadway.com, the Minskoff Theatre Box Office, and all Ticketmaster outlets or by calling Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at 212-307-4747.  Prices range from $51.25.-$121.25.  For group sales and information please call 800-439-9000. www.DisneyOnBroadway.com

Photos by Joan Marcus, top-bottom: (l-r) Nathaniel Stampley as Mufasa, Tshidi Manye as Rafiki and Jean Michelle Grier as Sarabi; Jeff Binder as Zazu; Blake Hammond as Pumbaa and Danny Rutigliano as Timon; Tshidi Manye



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