About The Lion King
It’s hard to believe there is anyone out there that has never heard of The Lion King franchise after several phenomenal runs of the play and Disney’s blockbuster movie after the same name. Howeverre is nothing quite like seeing it live and on Broadway. The stage production of “The Lion King” is truly a sight to behold, full of bright colors; a beautiful, lush stage; and an all-around fun production with well-versed actors in the roles.
All of the fan favorite songs from the movie can be found in the Broadway musical, including “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “Hakuna Matata.” The costumes are elaborate and are among the best designs on Broadway. And one wouldn’t think that this musical works well without real animals, but among the excitement of the stage lights colors and the singing, it just does.
The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion who, through a series of mishaps, sees his father, Mustafa, murdered at the hands of his jealous older brother, Scar. Simba mistakenly believes the accident is his fault and runs away. In the jungle, he meets two zany characters, Timon (a meerkat) and Pumba (a warthog). The three engage on a journey of friendship and self-discovery before Simba runs into his old friend, Nala.
Nala informs Simba that since he left, Scar has taken over and everyone, including Simba’s mother, is unhappy and starving. Simba returns to challenge Scar and to take his place as king. A battle ensues; however, this story has a happy ending as Simba triumphs to rule the Pridelands, as Mufasa once did.
The Lion King is truly a must-see for anyone who has read the book or seen the movie. And it's really a must-see for anyone who who appreciates unforgettable live theater. The musical is interactive, stunning and performed by some of the most talented actors on Broadway.
About Julie Taymor and The Lion King
For those unfamiliar with Broadway, when they hear the name "Julie Taymor" they generally think of the musical Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark.
Unfortunately, her association with that show is more infamous than inspirational. The Spider-man musical has become the butt of every Broadway joke (see below) as well as the Heaven's Gate of the Great White Way. Unfortunately that makes Taymor musical's original director, Michael Cimino.
Before directing one of the biggest box office flops in the history of American cinema, Cimino won an Academy Award for directing the Deer Hunter in 1978.
Before being associated with the Spider-Man musical, Taymor became the first woman to win a Tony Award for directing a musical.
There is however a huge difference between Spider-Man and Heaven's Gate. Very simply, Spider-Man makes money. The much-delayed superhero musical is one of a half of dozen Broadway shows that routinely grosses more than a million dollars a week.
Another one of those six-figure earners is Disney's The Lion King. It just so happens to be the same musical Taymor directed to win her Tony Award.
To see Taymor's award-winning work (she also won the Tony for Original Costume Design), you can either get Lion King tickets for the production running at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre or you can catch the musical when it comes to your town.
This summer National Touring Company of The Lion King visits Dayton, Ottawa, Montreal, and Syracuse. The show is scheduled to be on the road well into 2012.
The award-winning production has been running on Broadway since 1997 and has been seen by more than 55 million people.
Fans of all ages continue to flock to The Lion King not only to hear Elton John's music and Tim Rice's lyrics but to see the breathtaking puppetry that brings the fauna of Africa to the the stage. There are also several other special effects that make The Lion King one of Broadway's most unforgettable shows.
Broadway fans aren't the only ones to benefit when The Lion King roars into town. According to the Broadway League, a traveling show has an economic impact of 3.5 times the gross of ticket sales. For most stops that means millions of dollars are being pumped into the community.
The Lion King is an adaptation of the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name. The movie is not only available on DVD but a 3-D version will make a limited run in movie theaters this September.
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