As it enters its 16th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, recently becoming the highest-grossing Broadway show in history. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 20 productions around the globe have been seen by more than 65 million people, grossed over $5 billion and, cumulatively, run a staggering 91 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the fifth longest-running musical in Broadway history and only the second show in history to generate five productions running 10 or more years. Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese), the show has been performed in 15 different countries on five continents. Continuing to reign as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world, THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour in North America, in London’s West End and on tour in the UK, in Hamburg, Madrid, Tokyo and on tour in Japan.
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, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor. 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, the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design and seven 2012 Spanish Musical Theatre Awards, including Best Musical.
On stage, Taymor’s creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. 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.
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.”
Other members of the creative team include: 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.