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Disney's THE LION KING Officially Opens in Auckland, NZ


It's THE LION KING's first visit to New Zealand.

Disney's THE LION KING Officially Opens in Auckland, NZ New Zealand-born actor Nick Afoa leads the cast of Disney's THE LION KING at the Spark Arena.

Auckland, NZ--After a hiatus of over a year, the international tour of Disney's "The Lion King," which premiered in Manila in 2018, is back on its "paws." "The Lion King" officially opened at the 4,500-seater Spark Arena in Auckland, New Zealand (NZ), last weekend. Performances run now through July 18, 2021.

Michael Cassel Group, in association with Disney Theatrical Productions, and local presenting partner Spark Arena present the production, which flew in more than 100 crew and artists from all over the world who work alongside local talents to bring "The Lion King" to life, especially after the setbacks brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Spark Arena's Michael Coppel said, "[We're] incredibly proud to be hosting this amazing production. The scale of this production is way beyond any other theater experience previously seen in Auckland. Its array of colors, fantastic staging, and costume design, and the beloved larger-than-life characters, along with the brilliant music of Sir Elton John and Tim Rice, make 'The Lion King' the perfect entertainment for all ages."

Disney's THE LION KING Officially Opens in Auckland, NZ
Young Simbas and Nalas in THE LION KING in NZ

NZ-born actor Nick Afoa, who played the lead role of Simba in London's West End and Sydney, Australia, reprises his role for this momentous return of Broadway's mega-musical. Along with him are five local children who alternately play the roles of Young Simba and Nala: Maharanui Muriwai Kaiwai-Wanikau, Asher Whitehead, Erin Cortez, Rachelle Fernando, and Filia Te.

Two kids from the Philippines, Santino Juan Santiago and Waynehart Claire Geonzon, who have been part of the previous stops of the tour, are also reprising their roles as Young Simba and Young Nala, respectively.

Afoa said, "I'm over the moon to be reprising this incredibly special role in my home country. It's a tremendous honor to be a part of this amazing show, and I can't wait to perform in front of my friends and whānau at Spark Arena."

On the other hand, Santiago said, "I hope you can catch us at the Spark Arena. 'The Lion King' returning to a country or city for the second or third time is rare. Come and enjoy your free time by watching our show."

Disney's "The Lion King" worldwide ticket sales exceed that of any film, Broadway show, or any related theatrical event. Since its Broadway premiere in November 1997, the show has expanded to at least 25 global productions and has been seen by over 100 million audiences. It has been performed in different languages: English, Japanese, German, Korea, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese.

Disney's "The Lion King" is poised to reopen on Broadway on September 14, 2021. (Broadway theatres were closed due to the pandemic.)

In NZ, tickets range from $65 to $245. Buy HERE.

Auckland Unlimited, on behalf of Auckland Council, supports "The Lion King" in NZ.

Photos: Michael Cassel Group

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