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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Set to Return to Broadway this September

It’s good news for Broadway, which needs these productions if it is going to be able to rebound from months and months without revenue. “The Lion King” is a 23-year old juggernaut is set to return to Broadway this September along with other hit musicals Wicked, Hamilton. Disney fans have been eagerly awaiting the chance to see “The Lion King” on Broadway since the COVID-19 shutdown, over a year ago.

Broadway will fully reopen its doors this September, welcoming theater-goers from the city and all over the world once again for the first time in 18 months as New York charges forward in its unprecedented pandemic recovery. This Disney staple will reopen at the Minskoff Theatre on September 14, 2021. The famous show, which began performances in 1997, features the same Elton John and Tim Rice songs as the animated movie, as well as additional music and lyrics by Lebo M., Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer.

Experience the phenomenon of Disney’s The Lion King. Marvel at the breathtaking spectacle of animals brought to life by award-winning director Julie Taymor, whose visual images for this show you’ll remember forever. Thrill to the pulsating rhythms of the African Pridelands and an unforgettable score including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Oscar®-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Circle of Life.” Let your imagination run wild at the Tony® Award-winning Broadway sensation Newsweek calls “a landmark event in entertainment.”

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Broadway’s The Lion King roared onto the scene in 1997, just three years after the release of the animated classic. The Lion King officially opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on November 13, 1997, transferring to the Minskoff in 2006.

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PostHeaderIcon The Lion King on Broadway Becomes Fourth Longest-Running Show

The Lion King musical on Broadway Becomes Fourth Longest-Running Show with its 6,681st performance on Saturday evening, November 30, 2103 surpassing the original Broadway production of Les Miserables (6,680 performances) to become the fourth longest-running show in Broadway history.

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Having recently celebrated its 16th anniversary on Broadway last month, The Lion King finds itself in a position unprecedented in the history of Broadway. Already the highest-grossing show in Broadway history, the show is routinely the #1 Broadway show in a given week, a feat previously unimaginable for a show at this stage in its life.

The production recently became the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, an achievement made by the North American tour of The Lion King earlier this year.

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Behind The Scenes Video – Setting The Scene

Lion King has unveiled a new behind the scenes look at the staging, story, scenery and success of the musical titled “Setting The Scene”.

View the new “Setting The Scene” featurette for The Lion King below.

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Director Julie Taymor, associate director John Stefaniuk, producer Thomas Schumacher and more discuss the incredible visual design of the screen-to-stage adaptation in the new featurette, part of the ongoing Road To Pride Rock series.

“It’s a tale that every culture, everybody understands – but how it’s told is very original,” Taymor astutely observes.

“Children and adults alike suspend their disbelief knowing that it is theatre – that we are not really in a savannah; that we are not really in a jungle – and they go with you,” Taymor assertively adds.

The Lion King musical plays at the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway.


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King to Celebrate 16th Anniversary on Broadway

The Broadway production of the Tony Award-winning Best Musical The Lion King, currently playing at the Minskoff Theatre, will celebrate its 16th anniversary on Wednesday, November 13. The production, which opened on Broadway in 1997, is slated to surpass Les Miserables and become Broadway’s fourth-longest-running show in December. The production recently became the first show in Broadway history to pass $1 billion in cumulative gross, an achievement made by the North American tour of The Lion King earlier this year.

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Directed by Julie Taymor (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), The Lion King features a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional musical material by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor, and Hans Zimmer. The book was adapted by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. Other members of the creative team include Michael Curry, Steven Canyon Kennedy, Michael Ward, John Stefaniuk, Marey Griffith, Clemente Ishmael, and Doc Zorthian.

The cast features Gareth Saxe, Alton Fitzgerald White, Tshidi Manye, Jeffrey Kuhn, Ben Jeffrey, Fred Berman, Aaron Nelson, Chantel Riley, James Brown-Orleans, Bonita J. Hamilton, Enrique Segura, Cole Bullock, Caleb McLaughlin, Teshi Thomas, and Kaci Walfall.

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Broadway Cast Update – Jeffrey Kuhn and Tshidi Manye Join the Company

Disney’s The Lion King Broadway welcomes Jeffrey Kuhn, in the role of Zazu, and Tshidi Manye, who rejoins the production as Rafiki.

Jeffrey Kuhn makes his Lion King debut as the prim and proper hornbilled bird, Zazu. Jeffrey Kuhn has been seen in the Broadway productions of The 39 Steps, Spamalot, Wicked, Assassins, Ragtime, and Off-Broadway in John Guare’s 3 Kinds of Exile (Atlantic). Kuhn’s regional credits include An Enemy of the People (Centerstage), Next Fall (St. Louis Rep), Romeo & Juliet (Shakespeare Theatre), Sea of Tranquility (Old Globe), Love’s Labour’s Lost, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antony & Cleopatra and many others (Stratford Festival), Barrington, Alliance, Pittsburgh Public, and Cincinnati Playhouse. Tour: The Who’s Tommy.

Tshidi Manye, Broadway’s longest-running Rafiki, returns to the Broadway production, having recently spent four months playing the role to critical acclaim on the North American Tour. Tshidi Manye toured Europe and Japan with M. Bongeni Ngema in the hit musical Sarafina. She made her Broadway debut in The Lion King in 2004. Other stage credits include Rafiki in the Toronto production, Daughter of Nebo by Hillary Bletcher, Mfowethu by Gibson Kente, and The Stick by Aubrey Sekhabi. Manye is honored to have performed with legendary artists such as Paul Simon, David Byrne, Hugh Masekela, Jabu Khanyile, and Vusi Mahlasela. Albums: Sisters of Joy, Wildflower.

The Lion King musical is the highest-grossing Broadway show in New York history and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 21 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 104 years.

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Musical Broadway Tickets Onsale through 06 Jul 2014

Lion King Broadway musical playing at Minskoff Theatre has extended its booking period through to 06 Jul 2014. The musical opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 13 Nov 1997, following previews from 15 Oct. On the 13 Jun 2006 the musical moved to the Minskoff Theatre. The Lion King, now in its 16th year, it is the 5th longest running show in Broadway history.

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Lion King musical is based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same, tells the story of the epic adventures of a young lion cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role as king.

Lion King Broadway Main Cast:
Gareth Saxe as Scar
Alton Fitzgerald White as Mufasa
Buyi Zama as Rafiki
Jeff Binder as Zazu
Ben Jeffrey as Pumbaa
Fred Berman as Timon
Aaron Nelson as Simba
Chantel Riley as Nala
James Brown-Orleans as Banzai
Bonita J. Hamilton as Shenzi
Enrique Segura as Ed

The Lion King won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Director Julie Taymor became the first woman in Broadway history to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Broadway Company Welcomes Aaron Nelson to Play Simba

The fifth longest-running show in Broadway history, Lion King Broadway Company Welcomes Aaron Nelson to Play Simba starting from Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at Minskoff Theatre.

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Aaron Nelson to Play Simba from August 27

Aaron Nelson to Play Simba from August 27

Aaron Nelson is the first Simba since Jason Raize created the role nearly sixteen years ago to play Broadway without having previously been a member of another Lion King company.

Aaron Nelson is making his Broadway debut as a brand new member to The Lion King family. A proud Chicagoan, Aaron received his BA in Arts Management from Columbia College Chicago. His regional theater credits include columbinus 2.0 (American Theater Company), Rent (American Theater Company), and Dreamgirls (Theater 47). He made his television debut as “Kyle” in NBC’s “Chicago Fire.”

In its 16th year, The Lion King remains ascendant; it is the highest-grossing Broadway show in New York history and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 21 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 104 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years.

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PostHeaderIcon The Lion King’s 15 Years on Broadway, Anniversary Special – by Broadway Buzz

Disney’s Tony-winning musical The Lion King celebrates 15 magical years on Broadway. The landmark production, which combined cutting edge technology with inventive new uses for masks and puppets, opened at the newly refurbished New Amsterdam Theatre on November 13, 1997. A decade and a half later, The Lion King continues to be one of the hottest tickets in town at Broadway’s Minskoff Theatre.

In honor of its anniversary, shares 15 fascinating facts about the show everyone loves.

1. Julie Taymor became the first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical for her work on The Lion King and took home a second Tony for the show’s costumes.

2. Before giving a Tony-nominated performance as Mufasa, Samuel E. Wright provided the voice of Sebastian the Crab in Disney’s film The Little Mermaid and debuted the Oscar-winning song “Under the Sea.”

3. The character of Rafiki was changed from an old man in the film to a woman in the musical in order to provide a leading role for a female actress. Good call: Tsidii Le Loka received a Tony nomination for her performance.

4. The Broadway production has played through three Presidential administrations, four mayoral elections and the opening and closing of 536 Broadway shows.

5. The Rhinos in the musical wear Vans sneakers.

6. With a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, The Lion King has earned more than the Lord of the Rings film trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined and more than Avatar and Titanic combined.

7. Pumbaa’s costume weighs 45 pounds and is worn like a backpack.

8. The box office clout of The Lion King shows no signs of waning: 125,000 more tickets were sold in its 15th year than in the 14th, and 50,000 more tickets were sold than in the 10th year of the run.

9. Dancers in black costumes, gloves and hats manipulate pieces of Mufasa’s face on poles to create the scene in which he appears to Simba under the stars.

10. The Lion King’s 21 productions have played in 98 cities in 16 countries on every continent except Antarctica.

11. Pride Rock can rotate in either direction and is segmented into three parts, which go up and down separately (but in order).

12. Though The Lion King lost the 1998 Tony for Best Score to Ragtime, three of Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs had already been nominated for the Oscar. “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” won Best Song in 1995 over “The Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.”

13. The Lion King orchestra is comprised of 23 musicians: 17 in the pit, two percussionists in the boxes and four brass instrumentalists who play down the hall because they don’t fit into the pit.

14. Despite being small, Zazu the bird is actually the most complicated puppet in the show.

15. In order to get into costume, the actor playing the giraffe sits at the top of a six-foot ladder and has a dresser help attach his headpiece and stilts to his feet and hands.


PostHeaderIcon Lion King’s Young Simba Judah Bellamy in Broadway

Judah Bellamy who plays young Simba in the Broadway production of “The Lion King,” in front of the Minskoff Theatre in Times Square, Manhattan.

Judah Bellamy in Lion King Broadway

Judah Bellamy in Lion King Broadway

When Judah was 6, he announced he would play Simba one day on Broadway. With Judah’s father, Bellamy being a writer in Baltimore, and his mother a day care provider, the dream was brushed off as a childish fantasy.

The Bellamys were so profoundly impacted by the rich African culture embedded in the show that Bernita played “The Lion King songs” to her belly in 1999 when she was pregnant with her first born, Judah Bellamy—who now plays Simba on Broadway.

“None of us can sing. It is just not a part of our make up. I’d probably be less surprised if they told me he could move objects with his mind,” his father said. But not only could Judah sing, he also memorized the entire “The Lion King” script by age 5. He then moved on to memorizing the Danish and German versions. His father could no longer ignore Judah’s wish when he turned 9, and began taking him to “Lion King” auditions.

Judah Roars in Lion King

Judah Roars in Lion King

Without ever taking a single singing or acting lesson, Judah left for his trip to New York. As a 4’3” 9-year-old, he walked into the large auditioning room, getting lost among 50 Simba hopefuls who were at least 3 inches taller than him. To the judges’ surprise, the most regal, resounding voice bustled from the little body. But it was more than the voice that captured the directors’ attention; it was Judah’s passion for ” The Lion King” scenes, his striking familiarity and natural ease with the script, and his compelling bearing as Simba. There was one small problem. He was too short for the role. Over the next two years, Judah was invited to audition five times. Although he was rejected each time, Judah held firmly to his dream.

“I’m going back to get it, at no time did I think I wasn’t going to get it,” he said. He got the auspicious phone call at age 11. Although his dream finally came to fruition, strangely, at such a young age, Judah’s excitement did not affect his rationale. “I ate dinner… I went to bed, because, you know, I wouldn’t really do anything until a month later,” Judah said.

Judah’s first four weeks on Broadway consisted strictly of trainings, with zero break days. But that did not stop Judah from being “a big ball of energy,” his father recalled.

Even today, at age 13, “The Lion King” is still Judah’s favorite movie. He continues to sing “Into the Night” in the shower, which happens to be his favorite scene—where Simba meets his father’s spirit in the starry sky.

Judah aspires to be a screenwriter, director, and film actor after his Simba days are over. He recently completed an independent film with Jono Oliver, an award-winning director. The film, called “Home,” is about the complex relationship between a mentally ill father and his young son. The director was originally looking for younger actors for the role of the son, but out of an array of actors, Judah was chosen for his “nuance” in the difficult role, his father said.

Although Judah has had a string of luck in his acting career, in his father’s eyes, the most important thing Judah has learned is having compassion and love for others.

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PostHeaderIcon Matthew McConaughey with Family Watch Lion King at Minskoff Theatre in NYC

Film star Matthew McConaughey took his family to see the Broadway production of The Lion King, at the Minskoff Theatre, on Thursday, June 28. Afterwards, he met up with cast members including Alton Fitzgerald White, who plays Mufasa, and Adam Jacobs, who stars as Simba.

McConaughey co-stars in the highly anticipated male stripper movie Magic Mike, which opens this weekend. His many additional film credits include The Lincoln Lawyer, A Time to Kill, and U-571.

Matthew McConaughey and his wife Camila take their kids to see The Lion King on Thursday (June 28) at the Minskoff Theatre in NYC.

Matthew McConaughey Visits Lion King at NYC With Wife and Kids

Matthew McConaughey Visits Lion King at NYC With Wife and Kids

Lion King is a standing production in NYC at Minskoff Theatre. Avail $15 OFF on Lion King New York NY Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code SUMMERTIXTN at Checkout!

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