Lion King Will Roar Longer in South Africa; NYC Production to Hit Milestone

News   Lion King Will Roar Longer in South Africa; NYC Production to Hit Milestone Due to tremendous public response, the South African production of Disney's The Lion King has extended its run by several months.

The musical, which opened June 6 at Johannesburg's 1,850-seat Montecasino Teatro, had originally planned an Oct. 7 closing. The Tony-winning musical will now run through Dec. 2.

The Walt Disney Company has also joined forces with the show's principal sponsor, Telkom, to allow 38,000 children and teenagers to enjoy the South African production free of charge. In fact, 20 matinees will be performed solely for students from the townships and communities around Johannesburg.

The New York production of Lion King, directed by Tony winner Julie Taymor, will celebrate its 10th anniversary Nov. 11. The musical, which opened at the newly refurbished New Amsterdam Theatre, now plays the Minskoff.

The Lion King, according to press notes, "follows the adventures of lion cub Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of manhood and his future role as king."

The Lion King originally opened at Broadway's New Amsterdam Theatre Nov. 13, 1997. 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. In fact, 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. For more information visit www.DisneyOnBroadway.com.