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Disney's THE LION KING North American Tour Sets Record in Syracuse

Disney's THE LION KING North American Tour Sets Record in Syracuse

Disney's The Lion King has set the record for the highest-grossing engagement in Syracuse theatrical history with a gross of $4.1 million. The award-winning musical entertained 53,104 theatergoers during the three-week engagement at The Landmark Theatre, which concluded on November 12.

In addition to three weeks of performances, The Lion King's crew members, actors and musicians, alongside members of the show's award-winning creative team, lived and worked in Syracuse for five weeks to relaunch this newly configured National Tour. The Lion King's longevity in Syracuse had a significant economic impact on the area, as cast, crew and locally-hired stagehands patronized businesses including restaurants and hotels, where The Lion King team spent a total of 4,251 hotel nights. The Lion King also provided work to 163 local stagehands who worked over 21,000 hours during the eight weeks. That's equivalent to over 10 full time year-long jobs.

It is estimated that the Syracuse engagement of The Lion King generated an economic benefit of more than $14 million to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. A Touring Broadway League report found that Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.27 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area's economy. The estimated total figure also takes into account local expenditures during the extra five weeks of tech in Syracuse.

"We are thrilled that Disney Theatrical Productions chose Syracuse, NY and the Landmark Theatre to relaunch their North American Tour of The Lion King and that they are participating in the New York State Theatrical Tax Credit Program," said Albert Nocciolino, President and CEO of NAC Entertainment. "We are especially pleased with the tremendous response and support of the entire community that provided for a very successful engagement, and are sure that Syracuse will continue to attract many more National Touring Broadway Shows."

"We were so proud to share the experience of launching this new tour with audiences in Syracuse," stated Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements, Disney Theatrical Productions. "We are overwhelmed by the enduring response to the show and thank the Syracuse community and our partners at Famous Artists and The Landmark Theatre for another sensational engagement."

This new tour of The Lion King will now be able to entertain audiences in cities and venues which previously couldn't accommodate the show. Advanced technologies, new since the tour launched in 2002, will enable this production to travel faster, while maintaining the spectacle, scale and emotional impact of Julie Taymor's original vision. The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 19 million theatergoers in over 70 cities throughout North America.

In its 20th year, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 24 global productions have been seen by more than 90 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years. Performed in eight different languages (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; Mexico City; Scheveningen, Sapporo and on tour across North America, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 19 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 has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.

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."

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: 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.

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The Syracuse engagement of The Lion King was presented by arrangement with Famous Artists and is a subscription offering of the Famous Artists Broadway Theater Series Broadway in Syracuse. The Famous Artists Broadway Theater Series is sponsored by Y94 and News Channel 9.

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