Disney Theatrical Productions and Mandalay Bay have announced that the hit musical featuring a score by Elton John and Tim Rice will begin performances April 20, 2009 and officially open May 2, 2009 at the Mandalay Bay Theatre.
The Las Vegas incarnation — a sit-down, open-ended run — promises to be the full-length presentation of the hit, virtually identical to the Broadway and international companies of the musical that features Tony Award-winning direction and design by Julie Taymor.
"We're incredibly pleased to bring The Lion King to the audiences of Las Vegas," said producer and president of Disney Theatrical Group Thomas Schumacher. "Mandalay Bay has seen great success with other shows thanks to its extraordinary commitment to producing theatre of the highest caliber. When we decided to bring The Lion King to Las Vegas, we knew that this was the right show at the right venue at the right time."
The Lion King marks the first Disney musical to present a sit-down production in Las Vegas. The current tenant of the Mandalay Bay Theatre, Mamma Mia!, concludes its Las Vegas engagement Jan. 4, 2009.
Casting and ticketing information for the Las Vegas production will be announced at a later date. Since its Broadway opening on Nov. 13, 1997, The Lion King has been seen by 45 million people worldwide. Directed by Julie Taymor — who became the first woman to ever receive a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical — The Lion King has become an international hit with productions playing all around the globe. The Elton John-Tim Rice musical has won over 30 major awards. Those include six Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical; eight Drama Desk Awards; six Outer Critics Circle Awards; two Sir Laurence Oliviers; the Evening Standard Award for Best Theatrical Event; and three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards.
The Lion King currently plays the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.
For more information visit www.DisneyOnBroadway.com.