The Lion King Reopens Historic Opera House in Boston, July 16 | Playbill

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News The Lion King Reopens Historic Opera House in Boston, July 16 Marking a historic occasion, The Lion King will inaugurate the newly-restored Opera House in Boston, July 16, when it begins performances in the space, which has been returned to its original 1928 glory.

The six-month engagement is set to run through Dec. 26 as part of the Broadway in Boston season. Julie Taymor directed the Disney stage adaptation of the animated film featuring music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice with a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi based on the screenplay.

Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino will be joined by Clear Channel Entertainment President of Theatre Management David Anderson and Broadway in Boston/Clear Channel Entertainment President Tony McLean for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially reopen The Opera House.

Recalling its Broadway debut, which opened at the refurbished New Amsterdam theatre in 1997, The Lion King once again revives a dormant and neglected venue. The $38 million restoration began in 2002 on the 2,600-seat "palace for the people," once listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "11 Most Endangered Historic Places."

Over 30,000 hours were spent on restoring plasterwork, refurbishing 352 original lighting fixtures and expanding the Massachusetts stage to accommodate large-scale productions. According to a release, "original wall fabrics, carpets and glazes were re-created and murals were painstakingly cleaned and restored" to honor the original vision of architect Thomas White Lamb. Lamb designed the structure as a memorial to the “father of vaudeville” B.F. Keith from his business partner Edward Franklin Albee (adoptive grandfather of the namesake playwright).

Following the Disney’s The Lion King run at The Opera House, the theater will present a return engagement of Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera set to start in March of 2005 and the Boston Ballet will also bring The Nutcracker. The Lion King earned Tony Awards for director and costume designer Julie Taymor, choreographer Garth Fagan, scenic designer Richard Hudson, lighting design Donald Holder and as Best Musical.

Tickets to The Lion King at The Opera House, 539 Washington Street in Boston MA are available at (617) 880-2400. For more information, visit

The Boston Opera House
The Boston Opera House Photo by Whitney Cox

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