Lion King currently playing on tour in Durham, NC (till June 09) and moves to Columbus, OH (from June 12)

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King’s Puppet supervisor, Michael Reilly Interview

Lion King musical is all set and is currently performing at Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, DC from June 17 to August 17, 2014.

Lion King Puppet supervisor - Michael Reilly

Lion King Puppet supervisor – Michael Reilly

Know all about the Lion King’s Puppet supervisor, Michael Reilly – by KRISTEN PAGE.

“I prefer puppet master. It sounds better,” says the man who manages the menagerie of puppets that make “Disney’s The Lion King” the visual spectacular that it is.

The musical, based on Disney’s 1994 animated smash, is not the largest production Reilly’s been a part of (he was the “sword and armor guy” for a production of “The Lord of the Rings” that opened in Toronto in 2006) but the touring company of “The Lion King” (at the Kennedy Center through Aug. 17) certainly keeps him busy, even without any ringwraiths.

“We have so many different kinds of puppets. We have body puppets, shadow puppets, hand puppets,” he says. “Each one is unique unto itself and each one can find a different way to break.”
Reilly and his team spend each show waiting for the puppet equivalent of 911; when the call comes over the radio, they rush in like ER docs.

“We have a tool belt of knickknacks, all kinds of collars and fittings and keys and all kinds of things,” Reilly says. “It all depends on who breaks; we generally have an idea of what broke once they tell us which puppet is broken. If a hyena breaks, often it’ll be a string; if it’s Pumbaa, it’ll be a zip tie.”

The biggest problem — literally — is often the 6-foot-tall African elephant, which requires four cast members to operate. “When she breaks, it’s pretty massive,” he says.

So far Reilly and his team have a 100 percent success rate when it comes to resurrecting their patients.
“I’m happy to say no puppet has stopped the show,” he says. “I probably shouldn’t have said that. I maybe just jinxed it.”

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Musical Tour in Charlotte NC was a Sold-Out Engagement

The Lion King tour in Charlotte (August 06 to September 01, 2013) was a sold-out four week engagement. Lion King broke the Belk Theater’s box office record for highest-grossing week when it grossed $1,399,576 for the week ending September 1, 2013. It grossed over $5.5 million at the box office and entertained more than 63,000 patrons.

This was The Lion King’s third sold-out engagement in Charlotte, following a five-week premiere in 2003, and a six-week return in 2007 at the Belk Theater.

“The Lion King has once again taken Charlotte by storm during its four-week run, and the response we’ve seen from both audiences and the community has been exciting,” said Tom Gabbard, Blumenthal Performing Arts President. “We especially want to thank our friends at Disney Theatrical Productions and The Lion King for their help in returning this amazing production to Charlotte. They truly represent the ‘best of Broadway’ that we strive to deliver each season, and we can’t wait to have them back again.”

“We were thrilled to return to the great city of Charlotte, where The Lion King has always been so warmly welcomed and embraced,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. “We thank the Charlotte community and our partners at the Blumenthal Performing Arts for another sensational engagement and look forward to returning in the near future.”

From here Disney’s Lion King touring production moves to Pittsburgh PA and performing at Benedum Center through September 29, 2013.

Lion King North American tour scheduled through August 2014 in Dallas (Music Hall at Fair Park), Tempe (ASU Gammage Auditorium), Los Angeles (Pantages Theatre), Honolulu (Blaisdell Concert Hall), Seattle (Paramount Theatre), Atlanta (Fabulous Fox Theatre GA), Toronto (Princess of Wales Theatre) and Washington, D.C. (Kennedy Center Opera House).

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