Lion King Becomes Broadway's Seventh Longest-Running Show Jan. 2

News   Lion King Becomes Broadway's Seventh Longest-Running Show Jan. 2
Disney's The Lion King, which currently plays the Minskoff Theatre, becomes the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history when it plays its 5,462nd performance Jan. 2, 2011.

The long-running musical surpasses Disney's inaugural Broadway musical Beauty and the Beast to claim that position.

"It's enormously gratifying to the whole creative team to see our show move up this rarefied list," stated Thomas Schumacher, producer and president, Disney Theatrical Productions. "The Lion King's continued success is a testament first to Julie Taymor's original vision, which continues to astonish, and to the men and women onstage and off who create the magic each night. Thanks to them, performance 5,462 is as powerful as opening night."

As of Jan. 2, the list of the top ten longest-running Broadway shows follows (bolded titles with asterisk denote productions currently running):

The Phantom of the Opera* (9,539)
Cats (7,485)
Les Miserables (6,680)
A Chorus Line (6,137)
Oh! Calcutta (5,959)
Chicago* (5,868)
The Lion King* (5,462)
Beauty and the Beast (5,461)
Rent (5,123)
Miss Saigon (4,092)

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 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.

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