Disney's The Lion King to Tour U.S.

News   Disney's The Lion King to Tour U.S. Disney Theatrical Production's The Lion King will soon join Beauty and the Beast and Aida on the road. Beast has been touring the U.S. for six years, and some of the details of the upcoming Aida national tour were recently announced. The Lion King is expected to visit Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, St. Louis and Tampa.

Disney Theatrical Production's The Lion King will soon join Beauty and the Beast and Aida on the road. Beast has been touring the U.S. for six years, and some of the details of the upcoming Aida national tour were recently announced. The Lion King is expected to visit Atlanta, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Ft. Lauderdale, Houston, St. Louis and Tampa.

As previously reported, the national tour of Disney's new musical, Aida, will begin at Minneapolis' Orpheum Theatre March 27, 2001, for a run through April 22. The production will then stop in St. Louis, Seattle, Portland, OR, and Denver. Just announced are the three leads for the Elton John-Tim Rice tuner: Simone plays the titular slave, Patrick Cassidy is her captor and lover, and Kelli Fournier is his royal girlfriend, Amneris.

Both Fournier and Simone have appeared in the Broadway Aida, according to a production spokesperson at the Boneau/Bryan-Brown press office, while Cassidy most recently starred opposite Cheryl Ladd in the current Annie Get Your Gun revival. (Reba McEntire and Brent Barrett took over Jan. 26).

Disney may consider the Orpheum a lucky theatre for the company. The Lion King made a successful pre-Broadway stop there in 1997 before going on to triumph in New York.

As with the New York edition, the tour will be directed by Robert Falls, with Wayne Cilento doing choreography, and sets and costumes by Bob Crowley. The known tour schedule as Aida runs as follows:

• March 27-April 22, 2001: Minneapolis' Orpheum Theatre
• April 27-May 6: St. Louis' Fox Theatre
• May 12-27: Seattle's Paramount Theatre
• May 29-June 3: Portland, OR's Keller Auditorium
• June 6-24: Denver's Buell Theatre.

Other cities just announced for the Aida tour are Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Buffalo, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale, Hartford, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Louisville, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Providence, Raleigh, Rochester, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Tampa, Tempe, Tucson, Tulsa and Washington, D.C.

Disney's Buena Vista Theatrical Group is producing the tour.