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Disney's THE LION KING Opens Final Engagement With Middle East Debut

Performances are running until December 10 at Etihad Arena, Yas Island.

Disney's THE LION KING Opens Final Engagement With Middle East Debut

The curtain has risen on THE LION KING's Middle East debut, as the landmark musical event takes to the stage at Etihad Arena, Yas Island, with performances running until December 10.

Tony Award winning director Julie Taymor, alongside a line-up of internationally renowned performers, have made their way to Abu Dhabi for the final engagement of the production's first International Tour and to celebrate 25 years since it premiered on Broadway. Ahead of the opening night, director Julie Taymor addressed local media with an on-stage demonstration, sharing how she brilliantly reimagined Disney's beloved film - showcasing the costumes, masks and puppets now signature to the production. Tonight, a star-studded red-carpet premiere will be held, with local celebrities, dignitaries and audiences in attendance to witness the Middle East debut of the timeless show.

The 25th global production and first International Tour of Disney's THE LION KING premiered in Manila in March 2018 with sell-out seasons and return engagements in Singapore, Daegu, Seoul, Busan, Taipei, Kaohsiung, Bangkok, Hong Kong and Auckland. It is produced by Michael Cassel Group, in association with Disney Theatrical Productions.

The show's historic Middle East debut underlines the evolution of Abu Dhabi's eclectic cultural offering, with the breathtaking production already breaking box office records as the fastest selling musical in UAE history.

Michael Cassel, Producer and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Cassel Group said;

"Over the past four years, THE LION KING International Tour has visited some of the most amazing cities and allowed countless audiences to witness this world-renowned stage production. Abu Dhabi is no different, and to make our Middle Eastern debut under the brilliant guidance of director Julie Taymor, having joined us directly from the Broadway 25th Anniversary, is thrilling. I am eternally grateful to Thomas Schumacher and Disney Theatrical Productions for entrusting us with this landmark musical. To collaborate with the most impressive group of creative talent, including our dear friend Lebo M, has been a joyous experience. The reaction to our international company has been overwhelming and we couldn't ask for a better final engagement to conclude the tour."

Felipe Gamba, Vice President, International Strategy & Licensed Partnerships, Disney Theatrical Group said;

"There is nothing more appropriate for THE LION KING, a global phenomenon that is a true celebration of multiculturalism, than to celebrate an opening engagement in the United Arab Emirates. This country's ability to embrace all cultures and identities, mirrors the show's original intent to be a universal storytelling experience that has captured the hearts of audiences around the world for 25 years. It is with great pride, together with our partners at Michael Cassel Group and Proactiv Entertainment, that we are delivering Julie Taymor and her team's unique artistic vision of this collective and global experience."

Nicolas Renna, Managing Director of Proactiv Entertainment - the local presenter responsible for the show's Abu Dhabi season said;

"The reaction to THE LION KING's Middle East debut has exceeded our expectations. Audiences are in for a treat over the next four weeks and we are very excited to witness their reactions at every single performance. Bringing this worldwide phenomenon to Abu Dhabi, which continues to play to sold out audiences on Broadway and the West End, is an honour. We see this as just the beginnings of the musical landscape in Abu Dhabi."



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