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PostHeaderIcon Disney’s The Lion King paws in about $1.8 million per week

Disney’s The Lion King is reporting it has roared its way to a new box-office record for touring shows visiting Vancouver.

Wrapping up its third of a four-week engagement, the show reports it’s averaging about $1.8 million per week, selling more than 80,000 tickets, and already generating about $7.3 million at the box office here.

Presented by Broadway Across Canada, the musical continues at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre until August 8.

Find one of the lowest prices for Lion King Tickets in Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver, BC Canada.


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King Breaks Box Office Records in Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver

Finishing up the third week of a 4-week engagement, Disney’s The Lion King has already broken box office records previously held for touring theatre in Vancouver. The British Columbia premiere engagement is now playing through August 8, 2010 and is averaging $1.8 million Canadian per week. The engagement, which the Vancouver Sun enthused, “is as pure and powerful a piece of theatre as anything ever seen on stage,” has already sold more than 80,000 tickets and generated over $7.3 million Canadian at the box office.

Early estimates indicate that the Tony®-Award Winning Musical will bring a $20 million Canadian economic benefit to Vancouver from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff.

The North American touring production of The Lion King has been seen by over 12.5 million theatergoers and grossed over $815 million to date. The tour is one of six productions running worldwide, along with New York City, London and Las Vegas. Having already played 60 cities across North America, The Lion King continues to entertain audiences in new cities.

Vancouver is not the first Canadian city for this tour. Audiences in Alberta were captivated by The Lion King during the summer of 2009 when the production set new box office records during its engagements in Calgary and Edmonton, grossing a combined total of $13 million and entertaining more than 154,000 guests. Making a major economic impact in the Province of Alberta, it is estimated that theatergoers spent a combined total of $36 million in Calgary and Edmonton during both engagements of The Lion King.

The Lion King North American Tour will once again return to Canada in April 2011 at Toronto’s Princess of Wales Theatre. This is the same theatre where the show had its Canadian premiere in April 2000, entertaining 2.9 million theater patrons and playing 1,560 performances (closing in January 2004). Tickets for the 2011 engagement go on sale this November.

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PostHeaderIcon Stars of Disney’s The Lion King at the Arts Club

Some of the stars of the hit show Disney’s The Lion King up close and personal in an old-style, speakeasy-themed benefit cabaret this Monday night (July 26) at the Arts Club’s Revue Stage on Granville Island. Titled Le Jazz Hot, the show will raise money for the YouthCO AIDS Society and the National Congress of Black Women Foundation’s Vancouver chapter.

The musical revue was created by Vancouverite and cast member Ian Yuri Gardner and features Wendy Bollard, Vusi Mhlongo, Kendra Moore, LaShonda Reese, Sophia Stevens, and other members of the Lion King cast. It’s a one-night-only event, but you can see the singers in all their elaborate wildlife finery at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre till August 8.

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PostHeaderIcon Vancouver Singer Ian Yuri Gardner returns to Lion King Cast

The Lion King at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

The Lion King at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre

The local Vancouver singer Ian Yuri Gardner has spent most of the past seven years in various stage productions of The Lion King. Yes, this show has legs, especially when Gardner comes onstage as a giraffe.

Gardner plays a “swing” in the cast, meaning he’ll be onstage in several different roles during any given show.

“We’re in puppets the majority of the time,” Gardner says. “There’s lots of choreography even for the singers. We’re never just standing there.”

Disney’s movie cartoon was adapted for the Broadway stage by director Julie Taymor 13 years ago, with the story’s various animals represented by huge puppets manipulated by the cast. The stage version has since become a durable audience-pleaser as well.

Gardner’s giraffe moment comes during the opening song “Circle of Life,” which recreates the movie’s panorama of wildlife. Gardner plays one of the two giraffes in that sequence, requiring him to walk on all fours with stilts on his hands and feet, while singing.

“It takes a while to get used to it,” Gardner says. “Some people never get used to it — they go out there still nervous, but I actually enjoy it. This is one of the most unique shows that I have ever been a part of.”

Gardner was born in Britain, but grew up in Vancouver, graduating from Gladstone secondary in 1986, the year his school choir sang at Expo.

He went on to a career doing musical theatre in Vancouver, singing on cruise ships, and producing his own shows in Britain and Canada. The travelling continued when he first joined a production of The Lion King in Toronto in 2003.

After that production’s run, he joined a production in Holland (for which the cast had to learn Dutch), and eventually joined the Broadway show in New York, where he stayed for two-and-a-half years.

“I heard the tour was coming back to Canada so I asked to join,” he says over the phone from a U.S. tour stop. “They always called me, every time I thought that was enough of The Lion King.”

He will do as many as 20 costume changes in a show, and the touring schedule involves eight shows a week.

“The fact that it’s coming back to Vancouver makes it full circle for me,” he says. “My goal has always been to open up my own production company doing a variety of events in Vancouver. I’m slowly heading that way more permanently. I’ll still be in The Lion King for a little bit, but I’m definitely on my way back home.”

Lion King is currently performing at Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Vancouver, BC Canada through August 08, 2010.
Timings: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays to Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. Until Aug. 8

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{Via Postmedia Network Inc}


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Roars into Vancouver‎ BC

The Vancouver premiere of Disney’s The Lion King opens tonight, Thursday, July 15 at 7:30pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre for a limited engagement of four weeks through Sunday, August 8. In Vancouver, The Lion King plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30pm, Sunday evening 6:30pm, Saturday matinees at 2pm, Sunday matinees at 1pm with an additional matinee performance on Wednesday, August 4 at 2pm. There will be no 6:30pm performance on Sunday, August 8.

After the Vancouver engagement The Lion King will return to Canada in April 2011 when the record-breaking musical comes back to Toronto where it had its Canadian premiere in April 2000, entertained 2.9 million theater patrons and played 1,560 performances (closing in January 2004). The North American touring company will begin performances on April 19, 2011 for a limited five-week run at the Princess of Wales Theatre, the same venue where the Toronto production was originally housed.

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