THE LION KING
STILL ROARS ON BROADWAY
Disney’s Tony Award winning musical is a visually stunning production not to be missed!By Joe Meny
Since its opening night on Broadway in 1997, The Lion King has broken records, evolving into one of Broadway’s highest grossing shows, and has been seen by over 80 million people, worldwide. For sure, Lion King’s success is well deserved. Based on the classic 1994 Disney animated film of the same name, the Broadway production of The Lion King is visually stunning; creating a realistic and thrilling landscape, with actors dressed as wild animals and encompassing their characters in a spectacular, awe-inspiring performance that brings audiences to their feet night after night. Theater critic John Simon, praised the Lion King, saying, “The animals, large and small, re-created with unparalleled imagination, underpropped by costumes that artfully blend realism with fantasy: The prancing giraffes and leaping antelopes, the nodding elephant and barreling warthog, keep you marveling even during the story’s stodgiest galumphing. “Stodgiest galumphing”? Believe us when we tell you, it was some of the most impressive choreography you’ll see on Broadway. (The Lion King won the 1997 Tony for Best Choreography!)
The Lion King brings the African Serengeti to life on stage as the audience follows the young, and somewhat naive cub Simba as he grows up and accepts his destiny to become the King of the Pride Lands in the face of tragedy. Together, Sir Elton John and Tim Rice helped create a musical filled with beloved songs (the amazing ‘Circle of Life’), supplemented with additional songs created for the show, that truly soar along with captivating music, intricate animal puppetry and a truly wondrous and enchanting staging. The show is truly a cornucopia of dazzle on many levels. The opening number with its parade of life-size animals down the aisles and through the audience is a jaw-dropping, magnificent spectacle. The exotic giraffes are 18 feet high! In fact, there are over 232 puppets featured in the show, including rod, shadow, and full-sized puppets. Greg Evans in Variety described Julie Taymor’s staging of The Lion King as “A marvel, a theatrical achievement unrivaled in its beauty, brains, and ingenuity.” We would describe it as a visual tapestry of animals that will truly amaze you.
There are six indigenous African languages sung and/or spoken throughout the show: Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana, and Congolese. In all, Disney’s The Lion King has won 17 major international theater awards, including 6 Tony awards, including Best Musical, Julie Taymor for both Best Director and Best Costume Design, and Garth Fagan for Best Choreography. It is currently Broadway’s 3rd longest running show, and has over 25 global productions. In 1998, The Lion King premiered in Japan at the Shiki Theater in Haru, Tokyo. In addition to Haru, Lion King is also currently playing at the Osaka Shiku Theater in Osaka. Including Japan and the USA, Lion King is also currently performing in Australia, Germany, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom
Ben Brantley from the New York Times summed it up best, saying, “There is simply nothing else like it!” We couldn’t agree more! If you want to see the spectacle for yourself for the first time, or are a returning visitor, you can be sure that this is a musical that you, your friends and the whole family will enjoy! And with the holidays being a time to spend with family and friends, why not plan a night out to see the Broadway show that is unlike any other? For more information, or to purchase tickets for The Lion King, visit: www.lionking.com.