Lion King's Manye, Young, Simmons and More to Perform at the White House

News   Lion King's Manye, Young, Simmons and More to Perform at the White House
Cast members from the Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King will perform at a White House State Dinner Sept. 15.

Hosted by President and Mrs. Bush, the evening honors Ghana's President John Kufuor and Mrs. Theresa Kufuor. The First Lady invited the cast after seeing a production of the Disney musical at the Kennedy Center.

Eleven members of the Broadway company — including Tshidi Manye (Rafiki), Dashaun Young (Simba) and Kissy Simmons (Nala) — will perform several tunes from the Elton John score: "One by One," "Shadowland," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight," "Endless Night," "He Lives in You," and "Circle of Life" with "Nants' Ingonyama." Eight members of the ensemble will also perform.

Since its Broadway opening on Nov. 13, 1997, The Lion King has been seen by 45 million people worldwide. 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 Lion King currently plays the Minskoff Theatre.

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