The Tony-winning Disney musical The Lion King reopens on Broadway September 14 at the Minskoff Theatre following its closure since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Several other Broadway productions return tonight as well, including Hamilton, Chicago, and Wicked; Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues also begins its limited Main Stem engagement at the Friedman.
As previously reported, Disney has partnered with TikTok to celebrate its return to Main Stem performances with a live stream of the opening number September 14. The stream begins at 7 PM ET with a behind-the-scenes pre-show hosted by Adrienne Walker, who returns as Nala. The event culminates with a live feed of “Circle of Life,” available on the Disney on Broadway TikTok account, @DisneyOnBroadway.
Also returning to The Lion King cast are Stephen Carlile as Scar, L. Steven Taylor as Mufasa, Tshidi Manye as Rafiki, Cameron Pow as Zazu, Ben Jeffrey as Pumbaa, Fred Berman as Timon, James Brown-Orleans as Banzai, Bonita J. Hamilton as Shenzi, and Robb Sapp as Ed.
Brandon A. McCall, who starred in the North American tour of The Lion King as Simba, steps into that role on Broadway. Also new to the cast are Vince Ermita and Corey J., who alternate as Young Simba, and Alayna Martus and Sydney Elise Russell, who alternate as Young Nala.
The ensemble features Lawrence Keith Alexander, Cameron Amandus, Leanne Antonio, Andrew Arrington, India Bolds Browne, Lindiwe Dlamini, Zinhle Dube, Bongi Duma, Angelica Edwards, Jim Ferris, Rosie Lani Feldman, Daniel Gaymon, Pia Hamilton, Daniel Harder, Michael Alexander Henry, Michael Hollick, Pearl Khwezi, Lindsey Jackson, Lisa Lewis, Mduduzi Madela, Jaysin McCollum, Ray Mercer, S’bu Ngema, Nhlanhla Ngobeni, Nteliseng Nkhela, Jacqueline René, Kaylin Seckel, Kellen Stencil, Housso Semon, Derrick Spear, Michael Stiggers Jr., Jamie J. Thompson, Bravita Threatt, Natalie Turner, Donna Michelle Vaughan, Nicholas Ward, and Stephen Scott Wormley.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, 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. The international hit musical 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.
The show’s director, costume designer, and mask co-designer, Julie Taymor, was the first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical; she continues to supervise new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by the pair; additional musical material by 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 book was adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated The Lion King feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.
Other members of the creative team include Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, as well as sound designer Steve Canyon Kennedy, hair and makeup designer Michael Ward, associate director John Stefaniuk, associate choreographer Marey Griffith, music supervisor Clement Ishmael, and production supervisor Doc Zorthian. Anne Quart serves as co-producer.