The Parisian Lion King opened Oct. 4, 2007, and has played to 1.3 million theatre patrons and won three Molière Awards in 2008 for Best Musical, Costumes and Lighting. It averaged 90 percent theatre occupancy during its three-season run, according to the producers.
Now in its 13th year in New York City, The Lion King is the eighth longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only five musical productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more on both Broadway and the West End.
The Lion King has been seen by more than 50 million people in 13 different countries and translated into five different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch).
The musical inspired by the Disney animated film has won more than 70 major awards worldwide, including the 1998 Tony Award and New York Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. Julie Taymor was the first woman in theatrical history to win the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. She is also the winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Costume Design.
Taymor and designer Michael Curry created hundreds of masks and puppets for The Lion King. Scenic design is by Richard Hudson; costume design is by Julie Taymor; lighting design is by Donald Holder. Choreography is by Garth Fagan. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film's screenplay. 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, Julie 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 score is "a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa."