Disney's THE LION KING Celebrates Record Breaking Engagement In North Charleston
Disney's The Lion King is celebrating a record breaking engagement which ended on Sunday, December 15. The triumphant two-week premiere engagement grossed more than $2.4 million at the box office and entertained more than 32,000 theatergoers. The production, which played 16 performances at North Charleston Performing Arts Center from December 4 through December 15, broke the box office record for the highest gross and most attended show ever in North Charleston Performing Arts Center's history.
It is estimated that the North Charleston engagement of The Lion King generated an economic benefit of more than $7.7 million to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based upon a Touring Broadway League report which found that, on average, Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.21 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area's economy.
"The Lion King was incredible," said Frank Lapsley, North Charleston Performing Arts Center's General Manager. "Audiences were captivated by the breathtaking production and beautiful music. Not only did The Lion King capture the hearts of Lowcountry fans, it shattered all previous records at North Charleston Performing Arts Center. With over 32,000 patrons coming through our doors during the two week engagement, The Lion King holds the record at our theater for most tickets sold by any show."
"What a delight to finally bring The Lion King to North Charleston," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We are overwhelmed by the response to the show and thank the Lowcountry community, Nederlander Organization and North Charleston Performing Arts Center for a sensational run."
The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 20 million theatergoers in over 80 cities throughout North America.
After 22 landmark years on Broadway, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King has made theatrical history with three productions worldwide running 15 or more years and three others running 20 or more years. Performed over its lifetime in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London's West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; on tour across North America, Japan and The U.K. & Ireland, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King's worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
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. 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.
The show's director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show's ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor continues to supervise new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice's songs 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 Lebo M's rich choral numbers.
The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated The Lion King feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film's screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, 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 co-producer.
For more information, visit LionKing.com.