THE LION KING North American Tour Opens Tonight in Dayton


The Dayton premiere of Disney's THE LION KING opens tonight, Thursday, June 16 at 8 PM at the Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center for a limited engagement of four weeks through Sunday, July 10, 2011. In Dayton, THE LION KING plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, Saturday matinees at 2:00 PM and Sundays at 1:00 PM and 6:30 PM. "The engagement has already sold more than 63,000 tickets and generated more than $4.8 million at the box office. While sales have exceeded our expectations, there are still select seats available" said Ken Neufeld, President & CEO of the Victoria Theatre Association and Arts Center Foundation.

Tickets to THE LION KING are available at the Ticket Center Stage Box Office by calling 937/228-3630 or 888/228-3630, Monday through Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM and Saturdays two hours prior to each performance, or via the Internet at

THE LION KING began as a 1994 animated feature-length film developed and produced by the Walt Disney Company. The story, a coming of age parable set among animals indigenous to its setting, the African savanna, tells the tale of Simba, the lion cub who rises to be the King of the jungle.

The sardonic and deviously cunning "Scar" is played by J. Anthony Crane. Dionne Randolph is "Mufasa," the great warrior and ruler of the Pridelands. Brenda Mhlongo is the wise baboon shaman "Rafiki." Tony Freeman portrays the prim and proper hornbilled bird "Zazu." Ben Lipitz is the carefree warthog "Pumbaa" and Nick Cordileone is the wisecracking meerkat "Timon." Mufasa's son, "Simba," the lion prince born to be king, is played by Jelani Remy and Syndee Winters is the loyal lioness "Nala."

The three evil hyenas are played by Andrew Arrington ("Banzai"), Monica L. Patton ("Shenzi") and Ben Roseberry ("Ed"). The role of "Young Simba" is alternated between Dusan Brown and Jerome Stephens, Jr. and the role of "Young Nala" is alternated between Monique Lee and Madai Monica Williams.

The North American touring production of THE LION KING has been seen by over 13.2 million theatergoers and grossed over $867 million to date. Having already played more than 60 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its Dayton premiere at the Schuster Center. The current schedule is listed below.

Now in its 14th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, continuing to reign as a cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its 1997 Broadway premiere, 18 global productions have been seen by more than 55 million people, grossed over $4.3 billion to date and have cumulatively run 83 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only five productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more, both on Broadway and in the West End. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 14 different countries on five continents. THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway (its flagship production), on stages across North America, and in Las Vegas, London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Singapore and Sapporo. In October, the first Spanish production will bow in Madrid.

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 and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.

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. 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). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.

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."

For more information worldwide, visit,

The Dayton engagement of Disney's THE LION KING is presented by arrangement with Victoria Theatre Association and is a subscription offering of the Miami Valley & Good Samaritan Hospitals Broadway Series.


Dayton - Schuster Center
June 14 - July 10, 2011

Ottawa - National Arts Center
July 14 - August 7, 2011

Montreal - Place des Arts
August 9 - September 4, 2011

Syracuse - Oncenter-Crouse Hinds Theatre
September 6 - October 2, 2011

Buffalo - Shea's Performing Arts Center
October 4 - 30, 2011

Denver - Buell Theatre
November 2 - December 4, 2011

Baltimore - Hippodrome Theatre
December 7 - January 8, 2012

Minneapolis - Orpheum Theatre
January 11 - February 12, 2012

New Orleans - Mahalia Jackson Theatre
March 14 - April 15, 2012

Orlando - Bob Carr Performing Arts Center
April 17 - May 13, 2012

Miami - Adrienne Arsht Center
May 17 - June 10, 2012

Greenville - Peace Center for Performing Arts
June 12 - July 8, 2012

Houston - Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
July 10 - August 12, 2012

St. Louis - Fox Theatre
August 15 - September 2, 2012


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