The Lion King Prepares for Sydney Opening; Casting Revealed

News   The Lion King Prepares for Sydney Opening; Casting Revealed
The international hit Disney musical The Lion King will open at the Capitol Theatre Sydney Dec. 12.

The Australian production is the 10th production of the award-winning musical running concurrently around the world, with shows on Broadway and on tour across North America, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the U.K., and in Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo.

Nick Afoa plays Simba, Josslynn Hlenti plays Nala, Buyi Zama plays Rafiki, Rob Collins plays Mufasa, Josh Quong Tart plays Scar, and Terry Yeboah plays Banzai. Other principals include Cameron Goodall as Zazu, Russell Dykstra as Pumbaa, Jamie McGregor as Timon, Ruvarashe Ngwenya as Shenzi and Andre Jewson as Ed.

When last in Sydney, the musical ran for almost two years and played to 1.35 million people.

The Lion King is the fourth longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only six productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more both on Broadway and in the West End.

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.

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