The Lion King Opens in Chicago May 3

News   The Lion King Opens in Chicago May 3 The Chicago production of Disney’s The Lion King officially opens May 3 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.
A scene from the Broadway produciton of The Lion King.
A scene from the Broadway produciton of The Lion King. (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Previews began April 23 for the Tony-winning musical, and tickets are on sale for performances through Nov. 23, 2003.

Heading the cast of the Elton John-Tim Rice musical are Larry Yando as Scar, Rufus Bonds Jr. as Mufasa, Thandi Soni as Rafiki, Benjamin Clost as Timon and Derek Hasenstab as Zazu. Others in the cast include Bob Amaral as Pumbaa, Brandon Victor Dixon as Simba, Adia Dobbins as Nala, Melvin Abston as Banzai, Shaullanda LaCombe as Shenzi and Brian Sills as Ed. Alexander Bass and Maestro Harrell will alternate in the role of Young Simba, and India Harris and Geffrimaya Hightower will alternate as Young Nala.

The Lion King ensemble comprises Quentin Darrington, Kelli David Low, Garland Days, Ntomb'khona Dlamini, Roberto Dos Santos, Semhar Ghebremichael, Dejah Gomez, Kehinde Hart, Michael Henry, Shameika Hines, Kenny Ingram, Hanifa Jackson, Iquail Johnson, Mark David Kaplan, Nqobile Mbanjwa, Ray Mercer, Tamara Merritt, Kendra Moore, Thabile Mtshali, Geoff Myers, Theresa Nguyen, Tueree Shard, Lubabalo Sibindlana, Jose Silva, Keena Smith, Latamra Smith, Vusi Sondiyazi, Omari Tau, Jasond Thomas, Jonathan Weir, Mariama Whyte, Marvette Williams and Deanar Ali Young.

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 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 creative team of The Lion King also includes Garth Fagan (choreography), Richard Hudson (scenic design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Julie Taymor (scenic design). Taymor, with the help of Michael Curry, also created hundreds of masks and puppets for the musical, which features a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. The Cadillac Palace Theatre is located at 151 West Randolph Street. The Lion King will play Wednesdays at 2 and 7:30 PM, Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM and Sundays at 1 and 6:30 PM. Special Tuesday at 7:30 PM performances will be held May 6, 13 and July 1. The Saturday, May 3 performance will begin at 6:30 PM.

Tickets for the production, priced between $18 and $82, are available by calling (312) 902-1400.

A scene from the Broadway produciton of <i>The Lion King</i>.
A scene from the Broadway produciton of The Lion King. (Photo by Joan Marcus)