Disney's The Lion King roars into the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center Dec. 13, with a cast that includes Broadway veterans, including Ragtime's Alton F. White as Mufasa.
The engagement, which runs through Jan. 26, 2003, will have an official opening at 8 PM on Dec. 14. The national touring company is headed by Patrick Page as the malevolent Scar, Alton F. White as the lion king Mufasa and original Renter Fredi Walker-Browne as the wise Rafiki. Page has been seen on the New York stage in Beauty and the Beast, The Kentucky Cycle and A Christmas Carol; White's Broadway credits include Ragtime (in which he played Coalhouse Walker Jr.), Miss Saigon, The Who's Tommy and Smokey Joe's Cafe; and Walker-Browne created the role of Joanne in the original cast of Jonathan Larson's Rent.
Others in the cast of this Lion include John Plumpis as Timon, Jeffrey Binder as Zazu, Blake Hammond as Pumbaa, Josh Tower as Simba, Kissy Simmons as Nala and James Brown-Orleans, Jacquelyn Renae Hodges and Wayne Pyle as the three hyenas. Akil I. LuQman and Rydell Rollins will alternate in the role of the Young Simba; Cajai Fellows Johnson and Alexandria Payne will similarly share the role of Young Nala.
During its stay at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, The Lion King will play Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM and Sundays at 1 PM and 6:30 PM. Tickets range from $22.25 to $133.25 and may be purchased by calling (813) 229-STAR or (800) 955 1045 or by going on-line to www.tbpac.org.
Directed by Julie Taymor — who became the first woman ever to receive a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical — The Lion King opened on Broadway on Nov. 13, 1997. Since that time, the musical has become an international hit with productions in London, Toronto, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Los Angeles and Hamburg. Worldwide, 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 on Broadway the New Amsterdam Theatre on West 42nd Street; go to www.disneyonbroadway.com for more information.