Disney's The Lion King opened on Broadway Nov. 13, and Walt Disney Records was ready: the original cast album was recorded Sept. 25 and is being released across the U.S. Nov. 25.
Two lavishly-illustrated books related to the show have also been produced by Hyperion Books. "The New Amsterdam: The Biography of a Broadway Theatre" by Mary C. Henderson is already in bookstores. "The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway" by director Julie Taymor is scheduled for release before Christmas, but is not out yet.
The Lion King cast album was released at the New Amsterdam Theatre and the New York/Connecticut/New Jersey tri-state area Nov. 13, with a nationwide release scheduled for Nov. 25.
It's proving to be big year for Elton John's recording career. His Princess Diana tribute single, "Candle in the Wind 1997" was released in the is in U.S. after chalking up record sales in Europe. U.S. advance orders were reported at more than 3.4 million copies. Proceeds will benefit charities supported by the princess, who was killed in a car accident. He's also currently at work on his next musical, based on the Aida story. Taymor's 192-page "The Lion King: Pride Rock on Broadway," chronicles the adaptation of the Disney animated film to the stage. The book, which has many full-color photos and design sketches of the show, contains interviews with the actors and artists who adapted the show.
Henderson's "The New Amsterdam" tells the history of the 1903 theatre which once held the yearly Ziegfeld Follies revues, but which fell on hard times with the general decline of 42nd Street in the 1930s. The book also chronicles the theatre's multimillion-dollar restoration by Disney, leading up to its May 15, 1997 reopening with King David. The theatre now houses The Lion King.
The new stage musical adaptation of Disney's animated film The Lion King substantially augments the five-song film score by Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice with eight new numbers by Lebo M, Hans Zimmer, Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin.
Here is a complete list of the musical numbers, as the show was performed in its pre-Broadway tryout at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis, which ran through Aug. 31.
Songs with an asterisk (*) were new, i.e. not in the animated film:
"Circle of Life"
"The Morning Report" (John/Rice)
"I Just Can't Wait To Be King"
"Chow Down" * (John/Rice)
"They Live in You" * (Mancina/Rifkin/Lebo M)
"Be Prepared" (Reprise)
"One by One" * (Lebo M)
"The Madness of King Scar" * (John/Rice)
"Shadowland" *(Zimmer/Lebo M/Mancina)
"Endless Night" * (Zimmer/Rifkin/Lebo M; lyrics by Taymor)
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight
"He Lives in You" * (Mancina/Rifkin/Lebo M)
"Busa" * (Lebo M/Zimmer/Rifkin) / "Circle of Life"
Here are the rest of the show's Minneapolis credits:
Director: Julie Taymor
Book: Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi
Additional Music: Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin
Choreographer: Garth Fagan
Set Design: Richard Hudson
Puppet and Mask Design: Julie Taymor, Michael Curry
Costume Design: Julie Taymor
Lighting Design: Donald Holder
Sound Design: Tony Meola
Vocal Arrangements/ Choral Director: Lebo M
Music Produced for the Stage: Mark Mancina
The production has 13 principal characters, 13 singers, and 12 ensemble dancers. Here are the 13 principals:
Scar -- John Vickery
Mufasa -- Samuel E. Wright
Zazu -- Geoff Hoyle
Rafiki -- Tsidii Le Loka
Timon -- Max Casella
Pumbaa -- Tom Alan Robbins
Simba -- Jason Raize
Nala -- Heather Headley
Banzai -- Stanley Wayne Mathis
Shenzi -- Tracy Nicole Chapman
Ed -- Kevin Cahoon
Young Simba -- Scott Irby-Ranniar
Young Nala -- Kajuana Shuford