Considering the healthy box office grosses and audience demand for Aida and The Lion King, it was only a matter of time before Disney Theatrical Productions worked out a way to send them across the country. Come March 15, details are expected to emerge regarding "Disney on Broadway on Tour," which includes three musicals: Aida, Lion King and the currently-touring Beauty and the Beast.
The previously-announced national tour of 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. Starring in the Elton John Tim Rice tuner are Simone [sic] as the titular slave, Patrick Cassidy as her captor and lover, and Kelli Fournier as his royal girlfriend, Amneris.
Lion King cities and dates are expected to be posted on the www.disneyonbroadway.com website this week.
In a joint statement, Disney producers Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher said, "These shows have been thrilling audiences on Broadway, and we are excited that theatregoers across the country will have the opportunity to enjoy the same Broadway experience in their hometowns."
* As for Aida on Broadway, pop singer Taylor Dayne gave her first performance in the Disney musical Feb. 27. Original star Sherie Rene Scott left the production on Feb. 25, the date of the musical's first-year anniversary. Taylor Dayne, the 1980s pop diva, plays Amneris opposite original stars Adam Pascal and Tony-winner Heather Headley.