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The Lion King North American Tour Opens Tonight in Toronto
(April 20, 2011) The Toronto return of Disney’s THE LION KING opens tonight, Wednesday April 20 at 7:30pm at the Princess of Wales theatre for a limited engagement of 8 weeks through Sunday June 12, 2011.
In Toronto, THE LION KING plays Tuesday through Saturday evenings 7:30pm, Saturday matinees at 2pm and Sundays at 1pm and 6:30pm. There will also be 2pm Wednesday matinees on April 20, May 18, May 25, June 1 and June 8. There will not be performances on Tuesday, May 24 and Tuesday, May 31. “Thus far sales have exceeded our expectations, but there are still great seats available” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions.”
Ticket prices start as low as $20. Tickets are available at the Princess of Wales Theatre Box Office, by calling TicketKing at 416-872-1212 or 1-800-461-3333 or via the Internet at mirvish.com. Orders for groups of twenty (20) or more may be placed by calling 416-593-4142 or 1-800-724-6420.
THE LION KING began as a 1994 animated feature-length film developed and produced by the Walt Disney Company. The story, a coming of age parable set among animals indigenous to its setting, the African savanna, tells the tale of Simba, the lion cub who rises to be the King of the jungle.
On stage, Director Julie Taymor’s creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. The sardonic and deviously cunning “Scar” is played by J. Anthony Crane. Dionne Randolph is “Mufasa,” the great warrior and ruler of the Pridelands. Brenda Mhlongo is the wise baboon shaman “Rafiki.” Tony Freeman portrays the prim and proper hornbilled bird “Zazu.” Ben Lipitz is the carefree warthog “Pumbaa” and Nick Cordileone is the wisecracking meerkat “Timon.” Mufasa’s son, “Simba,” the lion prince born to be king, is played by Adam Jacobs and Syndee Winters is the loyal lioness “Nala.”
The three evil hyenas are played by Omari Tau (“Banzai”), Monica L. Patton (“Shenzi”) and Ben Roseberry (“Ed”). The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Dusan Brown and Jerome Stephens, Jr. and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Monique Lee and Madai Monica Williams.
The North American touring production of THE LION KING has been seen by over 13.2 million theatergoers and grossed over $867 million to date. Having already played more than 60 cities across North America, The multi-award-winning, record-breaking musical returns to the city where it had its Canadian premiere in April 2000 and played 1,560 performances (closing in January 2004). The current schedule is listed below. Visit LionKingonTour.com.
ABOUT THE LION KING
As it begins its 14th year THE LION KING remains ascendant, continuing to reign as a cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its 1997 Broadway premiere, 18 global productions have been seen by more than 55 million people, grossed over $4.3 billion to date and have cumulatively run 83 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only five productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more, both on Broadway and in the West End. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 14 different countries on five continents. THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway (its flagship production), on stages across North America, and in Las Vegas, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo and Singapore. In October 2011, the first Spanish production will bow in Madrid.
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony® Awards: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor. THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
On stage, Taymor’s creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy® Award-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”
For more information worldwide, visit, LionKing.com
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2011:
Toronto – Princess of Wales Theatre
April 19 – June 12, 2011
Dayton – Schuster Center
June 14 – July 10, 2011
Ottawa - National Arts Center
July 14-August 7, 2011
Montreal – Place des Arts
August 9 – September 4, 2011