As The Lion King celebrates its fifth anniversary on Broadway, details are coming together for the Tony-winning musical's premiere Down Under.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions Australia, The Lion King will begin previews in Australia on Oct. 2, 2003, with an official opening scheduled for Oct. 16. This sit-down production — directed by Julie Taymor — will play Sydney's Capitol Theatre, which seats 2,000 theatregoers.
Individual tickets will go on sale May 19, 2003, although group and travel packages are now available. Casting is currently in progress for the production, with auditions being held in Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The production will include six native South-African performers.
The Elton John-Tim Rice musical, which bowed on Broadway Nov. 13, 1997, 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. Directed by Julie Taymor — who became the first woman ever to 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 Australian mounting will join productions in Tokyo, London, Toronto, Los Angeles, Fukuoka and Hamburg.
In New York City, The Lion King plays the New Amsterdam Theatre (W. 42nd Street); call (212) 307-4747 for tickets. Go to www.disneyonbroadway.com for more information.