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Disney's The Lion King continues to reign across North American with a sold-out engagement in Minneapolis, which concluded on Sunday, Aug. 7 at the historic Orpheum Theatre. The triumphant five-week return grossed $8 million at the box office and entertained more than 98,000 theatergoers during 40 performances, one of which was tailored to the needs of patrons with sensory, social and learning disabilities.
This return engagement marks the fifth time The Lion King has played the Orpheum Theatre. Following its sold-out world premiere in 1997 before heading to Broadway, The Lion King returned to Minneapolis in 2005, 2007 and 2012.
It is estimated that the Minneapolis engagement of The Lion King generated an economic benefit of more than $26 million to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based on the Economic Impact of Touring Broadway report by The Broadway League, the national trade association for the commercial theater industry, which shows the local economic impact of Broadway tours to be 3.27 times the gross ticket sales.
"We are dedicated to creating positive change through the arts for all members of the community," said Tom Hoch, Hennepin Theatre Trust President/CEO. "It was especially rewarding to work with Disney and bring a sensory-friendly performance to families who otherwise would not have this unique opportunity to enjoy this incredible experience. The Lion King remains a crowd-pleasing favorite and this was a heart-warming finale to our Bank of America Broadway on Hennepin Season."
"It is always meaningful for us to return to Minneapolis, the birthplace of The Lion King, and to see that the response to this groundbreaking production is just as strong now as when it was first introduced to the world at the Orpheum Theatre nearly 20 years ago," said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. "And we were so proud to play our fourth sensory-friendly performance outside of New York City and thank our partners at Hennepin Theatre Trust and Broadway Across America for their tireless commitment to this important initiative. Minneapolis holds a special place in the history of The Lion King and we look forward to returning to this fantastic city in the near future."
The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 17 million theatergoers and grossed over $1.2 billion to date. After 14 years on the road, The Lion King continues to play to standing room only houses throughout North America. The current tour route is listed below.
In its 19th year, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 23 global productions have been seen by more than 85 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years. Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London's West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Mexico City; Shanghai and on tour across North America, for a total of eight productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King's worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
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 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.
The show's director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show's ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.
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."
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: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.
Article reprinted with permission from www.BroadwayWorld.com
68 reviews, average rating: (4.8 Stars)
Lion King is my favorite Disney movie, and I didn't think it could get any ... more
The Lion King, How should I put this? It's more, understandable than the mo... more
We love this show!it rocks better than the one at Walt Disney World.this ... more
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