The Los Angeles production of The Lion King, the hit stage version of the blockbuster film, will end its record breaking engagement at Los Angeles' Pantages Theatre at the end of 2002, and Disney will open another staging in April 2003 at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre.
In the meantime, another tour will begin roaring at Denver's Buell Theatre this spring, April 17-June 23. Alton Fitzgerald White stars as Mufasa.
"The Los Angeles run of The Lion King has been phenomenal," Disney Theatrical producer Thomas Schumacher said in a statement. "We've stayed three times longer than originally planned, and we're thrilled that 1.5 million people have seen the show here, but we can no longer delay our commitments to other cities."
The Los Angeles production of the Julie Taymor extravaganza opened in October 2000 and has since received seven Ovation Awards, four NAACP Theatre Awards and four Backstage West Garland awards. No specific closing date was announced.
Tickets for the upcoming Chicago production, part of the show's new national tour in 2003, will go on sale in the fall of 2002. Reservations for groups of 20 or more are now being accepted by calling (312) 977-1710. Of Chicago, producer Schumacher also commented, "The Lion King has been delighting audiences on Broadway and across the world, [and] we are thrilled to launch a new production in this great theatre town."
The Lion King is also going strong on Broadway, where it is in its fifth sold-out year at the New Amsterdam Theatre. Winner of six Tony Awards, including one for Best Musical, tickets are available by calling The Disney Hotline at (212) 307-4747.
The Tony Award-winning musical directed by Julie Taymor, with a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, takes the hit animated feature film as its source. Five songs from the picture are featured, with John, Rice and others (South African Lebo M and Mark Mancina, with contributions from Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer) filling in the blanks with new songs and musical sequences rich in African flavor and tradition.
To charge by phone for the Denver engagement, call (303) 893-4100 or (303) 830-TIXS. Outside Denver, call (800) 641-1222.