By Andrew Gans
30 Apr 2014
The award-winning musical premiered in Toronto in April 2000 at the Princess of Wales, where it played 1,560 performances through January 2004, and returned in 2011 for an eight-week, sold-out engagement.
The latest Toronto staging features Patrick R. Brown as Scar, L. Steven Taylor as Mufasa, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize as Rafiki, Andrew Gorell as Zazu, Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa, Nick Cordileone as Timon, Jelani Remy as Simba, Nia Holloway as Nala, Keith Bennett as Banzai, Rashada Dawan as Shenzi and Robb Sapp as Ed.
The role of Young Simba is alternated between Jordan A. Hall and Nathaniel Logan McIntyre, and the role of Young Nala is shared by Nya Cymone Carter and Tyrah Skye Odoms.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from "The Lion King" animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.
The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed "The Lion King" animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film's screenplay. Other members of the creative team include Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor).
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.
Tickets are available online at mirvish.com, by phone by calling TicketKing at (416) 872-1212 or (800) 461-3333 or in person at the Princess of Wales Theatre box office – 300 King Street West.