Giraffes strut, birds swoop, gazelles leap! The entire savanna comes to life and, as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly rises out of the stage. This is The Lion King.
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The winner of six 1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, The Lion King tells the story of Simba, a young lion cub who struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role as king. To bring the classic 1994 film to life, Disney turned to the story's roots, its rich mythology, powerful human drama and primal African rhythms to create a fantastic musical unlike anything Broadway has ever seen.
After the success of the Broadway show, the show was produced in the United Kingdom by Harrison Lochtenberg, and continues to play at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Taymor led the British production of the show, with Peter Schneider as the producer. A Canadian production of the show was staged in Toronto and ran for nearly four years at the Princess of Wales Theatre.
The show played at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney, Australia, from 19 October 2003, until 26 June 2005. The production then ran at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne from 28 July 2005 until 4 June 2006.
Beginning in June 2007, The Lion King Musical debuted its first ever performance on the African continent in Johannesburg. Its tenth year anniversary was celebrated in the new Teatro Theatre at Monte Casino in Fourways. The Lion King is the first production to take place in the new theatre. The opening night in Johannesburg, South Africa was celebrated with key persons involving the creation of the Lion King Musical, and American talk show host Oprah Winfrey, who had recently opened an educational academy for girls in Johannesburg.
The Lion King Musical debuted in Paris on 22 September 2007 in the Théâtre_Mogador.
There are currently two U.S. touring productions. The tour version is very similar to the original Broadway production; however, certain scenic elements which rise out of the stage floor (such as Pride Rock, the stampede, and the grasslands) were converted to less costly configurations for the touring productions. The sun during the opening is reduced in size for the shorter-lasting tours. Stage sizes are also smaller, and the volume of music as well as the amount of instruments, is decreased.