The Lion King Celebrates Broadway Milestone Tonight

News   The Lion King Celebrates Broadway Milestone Tonight
Disney's The Lion King, the Tony Award-winning Best Musical, celebrates its 17th anniversary on Broadway Nov. 13 at the Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street).

The hit musical was the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, a threshold also crossed by the North American tour and, most recently, the Hamburg Lion King production.

Since its Broadway premiere on Nov. 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 75 million people. Having played 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any entertainment title in box-office history.

The New York cast is currently led by Gareth Saxe as Scar, Alton Fitzgerald White as Mufasa, Nteliseng Nkhela as Rafiki, Jeffrey Kuhn as Zazu, Ben Jeffrey as Pumbaa, Fred Berman as Timon, Aaron Nelson as Simba and Chantel Riley as Nala.

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 Minskoff Theatre is located at 200 W. 45th St.

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