The Lion King continues to roar around the world. On Aug. 23 the Toronto production of the Elton John-Tim Rice musical will play performance number 1,000 at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
The award-winning musical, which began previews March 30, 2000, and officially opened April 25, 2000, is currently in its third year at the Toronto venue. The cast of the production comprises Tshidi Manye as Rafiki, Horace V. Rogers as Mufasa, Robin S. Walker as Sarabi, Gerald Isaac as Zazu, Richard Clarkin as Scar, Isaiah Grant and Demetrios Matthews as Young Simba, Brittany Kay and Tajja Isen as Young Nala, Susan Dunstan as Shenzi, Jason Lee Jackson as Banzai, Dean Balkwill as Ed, Bill Perry as Timon, Mark Terene as Pumbaa, Michael Blake as Simba and Jewelle Blackman as Nala.
Tickets for the Toronto mounting are priced between $26 and $116 and are available by calling (416) 872-1212 or (800) 461-3333, by going on-line to www.mirvish.com or by visiting the theatre's box office at 300 King Street West.
Toronto Lion King trivia: The wardrobe department has put in over 11,270 hours of maintenance, washed 13,156 loads of laundry and made 7,654 hyena quick changes. The 49-member cast has used more than 230,000 make-up brushes and 345,000 make-up wipes. The production no longer uses dry ice; instead they use liquid CO2, and in the last year have used more than 16 tons.
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 also in London, Tokyo, Fukuoka, Los Angeles and Hamburg. There is also a U.S. national tour. Worldwide, the critically acclaimed 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. Tickets to the Broadway production at the New Amsterdam Theatre (W. 42nd Street) are available by calling The Disney Hotline at (212) 307 4747; go to www.disneyonbroadway.com for more information.