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The Lion King Opens to Rave Reviews in Singapore

Disney's THE LION KING, presented by Marina Bay Sands and Disney Theatrical Productions, together with Base Entertainment, opened at The Sands Theatre in Singapore's Marina Bay Sands March 9 and the reviews are now in.

Following is a sampling of what Singapore had to say about THE LION KING:

"If this musical were a lion, it would quite certainly be a king!
There were audible gasps from the crowd when actors costumed as cheetahs, zebras, antelopes, birds, giraffes, rhinoceroses and elephants - all life-size, mind you - strutted through the aisles and onto the stage in a riotous, vibrant procession."
-Corrie Tan, The Straits Times

"Well, it's everything they say it is. And just that little bit more.
The show's appeal undoubtedly lies in how beautiful this show a radiantly illustrated book filled with gorgeous, textured auras of jungles and savannahs, with a universal story told via the artistry of the performers, ingeniously evocative puppets and sun-streaked sounds and songs."
-Genevieve Loh, Today Online

"A visual treat...Ingenious!
The first five minutes of THE LION KING musical was all it took for the cast to have the audience eating out of its hands for the rest of the night. With Singaporean audiences starved of top-notch Broadway fare of late, THE LION KING - the resident act at the Marina Bay Sands - has clearly earned its deserving place at the top of the food chain."
-Lee U-Wen, The Business Times

As it begins 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 and Singapore. In October 2011, 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."
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