Broadway's The Lion King Welcomes a New Simba Aug. 28
By Andrew Gans
The Tony-winning The Lion King, which recently became the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history, welcomes Andile Gumbi to its cast Aug. 28.
The South African actor, previously seen in the London, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and South Africa productions of The Lion King, steps into the role of Simba. He succeeds Adam Jacobs.
The Broadway company is currently headed by Patrick R. Brown as Scar, Alton Fitzgerald White as Mufasa, Tshidi Manye as Rafiki and Chaunteé Schuler as Nala.
Since its Broadway premiere on Nov. 13, 1997, 19 productions around the globe have been seen by more than 65 million people, grossed over $4.8 billion and, cumulatively, run 91 years.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King is only the second show in history to generate five productions running 10 or more years. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 15 different countries on five continents.
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.
The musical currently plays Broadway's Minskoff Theatre. For more information visit DisneyOnBroadway.com.
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