The North American tour of Disney’s The Lion King will soon welcome Peter Hargrave, Nick LaMedica, and Khalifa White to the company in the roles of Scar, Zazu, and Nala, respectively.
LaMedica and White will begin performances September 29 when the production kicks off a limited engagement at The Eccles Theatre in Salt Lake City, where the production will continue through October 23. Hargrave will debut October 13.
Jürgen Hooper and Kayla Cyphers will play their final performances as Zazu and Nala, respectively, September 25 in Tucson, where the tour begins a two-week return engagement September 14 at Centennial Hall. Spencer Plachy plays his final performance as Scar October 9.
Hargrave, LaMedica, and White will join current tour cast members Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa, Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Tony Freeman as Timon, John E. Brady as Pumbaa, Darian Sanders as Simba, Forest VanDyke as Banzai, Martina Sykes as Shenzi, Robbie Swift as Ed, Scarlett London Diviney as Young Nala, Jaylen Lyndon Hunter as Young Simba, Jordan Pendleton as Young Simba, and Farrah Wilson as Young Nala.
Rounding out the cast are Derek Adams, Kayla Rose Aimable, William John Austin, Iman Ayana, Isaiah Bailey, Samantha Lauren Barriento, Eric Bean, Jr., Layla Brent, Christin Byrdsong, Sasha Caicedo, Thembelihle Cele, Adrianne Chu, Leroy Church, Daniela Cobb, Lyric Danae, Marquis Floyd, Mukelisiwe Goba, Marquise Hitchcock, Gabisile Manana, Christopher L. McKenzie, Jr., Justin Mensah, Nhlanhla Ndlovu, Aaron Nelson, Jeremy Noel, Sicelo Ntshangase, Sayiga Eugene Peabody, Yael Pineda-Hall, Christopher Sams, T. Shyvonne Stewart, Jennifer Theriot, Courtney Thomas, Thom Christopher Warren, Diamond Essence White, Jordan Nicole Willis, and Sherman Wood.
Since returning in October 2021 from its 18-month pandemic shutdown, The Lion King North American tour has played to capacity houses in 16 cities, entertaining over 800,000 guests during more than 300 performances. The tour is scheduled to play 13 cities during the 2022-23 season, with additional engagements to be announced.
Watch: International Casts of The Lion King Perform Multilingual 'Circle of Life'
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, The Lion King won six 1998 Tony Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan), and Best Direction of a Musical. The international hit musical has also earned more than 70 major arts awards, including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year, and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
The show’s director, costume designer, and mask co-designer, Julie Taymor, was the first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical; she continues to supervise new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by the pair; additional musical material by 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, Mancina, and Zimmer.
The book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated The Lion King feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.
Other members of the creative team include Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, as well as sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy, hair and makeup designer Michael Ward, associate director John Stefaniuk, associate choreographer Marey Griffith, music supervisor Clement Ishmael, and production supervisor Doc Zorthian. Anne Quart serves as co-producer.
The Tony-winning Disney musical reopened on Broadway September 14, 2021, at the Minskoff Theatre following its closure since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.