November 20, 2013
Experience the circle of life as Disney’s beloved film The Lion King comes to eye-popping life onstage on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre.
Based on the 1994 Disney movie, The Lion King is one of the greatest and most successful Broadway musicals of all time.
Directed by Julie Taymor, and featuring a visual feast of costumes and sets, The Lion King won six Tony Awards and features music by Elton John (Billy Elliot) and lyrics by Time Rice (Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar).
With songs from the movie including “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”, The Lion King is a visually spectacular show that has extraordinary warmth, passion and drama.
THE STORY: The lion cub Simba, who is born in the African heartland, is destined to become king. But evil interferes: The devious uncle Scar slays Simba’s father, King Mufasa, and blames it on the young cub. Simba, deeply sad and ashamed, goes into self-exile. As Simba wanders the jungle, he grows into a lion, and eventually returns to reclaim the throne. A jealous brother who kills the king and banishes the young prince? Yes, it’s Hamlet of the animal kingdom.
October 18, 2013
A round-up of news and gossip from the West End this week, including Denise van Outen’s new one-woman show, gala nights at One Man, Two Guvnors and The Bodyguard, The Lion King reaches its 14th birthday and more.
Denise van Outen heads to West End?
West End producers will be watching Denise van Outen’s new one-woman show, Some Girl I Used To Know, with interest when it tours the UK next year.
The TV and stage star is much-loved by audiences and her new show, which begins at the West Yorkshire Playhouse on 5 February 2014, is tipped to find a London home if it does well on tour.
In the show Denise plays a media darling who has a successful career and supportive husband, and is set to music from the 80′s and 90′s. Given van Outen’s recent split from West End star Lee Mead, much attention will be on both her and the show.
Photo: One Man, Two Guvnors
Photo: The Bodyguard
The cast of The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre celebrated this week with a special media night to welcome new cast members Beverley Knight as pop superstar Rachel Marron and Tristan Gemmill as her bodyguard Frank Farmer. The Thea Sharrock helmed musical continues to do well at the Adelphi Theatre in London.
Penelope Wilton is Bliss
A special series of National Theatre Platforms are currently underway to celebrate this month’s 50th anniversary of the theatre. And if there is any justice in the world then producers should be hysterically calling Penelope Wilton around now. She said on Tuesday in her Platform alongside playwright David Hare that she has always dreamed of playing Judith Bliss in Noel Coward’s Hay Fever but no one has ever asked her. PRODUCERS – YOU KNOW WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. Read more.
The Lion King Teen
Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre is well into his teenage years now as the show celebrates its 14th birthday on 19 October. This comes at the same time as the original Broadway production tops the $1 billion gross of ticket sales – the first time for a Broadway show. Read more.
Norris Nets National
Director Rufus Norris was named new artistic director of the National Theatre, taking over from Nicholas Hytner in Spring 2015. An Associate Director of the National Theatre, he recently directed James Baldwin’s The Amen Corner at the National Theatre, and new play Table in the National’s Shed venue written by his wife, playwright Tanya Ronder. Read more.
October 18, 2013
Our weekly photo news round-up of what is happening on Broadway.
Daniel Evans in a gay version of Company, Neil Patrick Harris in Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Wicked celebrates its 10th anniversary, The Lion King tops the billion mark and more.
Daniel Evans in Gay Company
Our very own Daniel Evans, actor extraordinaire and artistic director of Sheffield Theatres, is in New York this week for a rather exciting project. The New York Times reports that the British director of Once, John Tiffany, is directing Dan as Bobby in a revised version of Stephen Sondheim’s musical Company. Not hugely exciting in itself given that Daniel starred as Bobby in an acclaimed Sheffield production in 2011. BUT Sondheim and Tiffany are reworking Bobby to be a gay man – something that always seemed present in the show as Bobby struggled with various commitment issues (he just hadn’t found the right girl!)
They are running a private rehearsal of the show in New York today, Friday 18 October, and depending on how this goes the Roundabout Theater Company may stage a production. Evans will be in good company in the rehearsal as the Lady Who Lunches, Joanne, is to be played by Alan Cumming, with Ugly Betty’s Michael Urie also joining the fun.
Given Daniel’s commitments in the UK (he directs Oliver! at the Crucible this Christmas), here’s hoping it will arrive here soon. David Babani at the Menier – get to it!
Neil Patrick Harris Gets Angry
Neil Patrick Harris is getting angry! And not just because he isn’t doing the Company rehearsal as a Gay Bobby (NPH was superb in the concert staging in 2011 with the New York Philharmonic alongside Patti LuPone and others). He is gearing up to give us his Hedwig in the big new revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway. Directed by Michael Mayer, the new Broadway revival of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask’s 1998 rock musical sees NPH as a transgender rocker from East Berlin.
The How I Met Your Mother and Toy Awards star is getting dragged up to his sparkly eyebrows and the show promises to be the most talked about musical of the Spring on Broadway.
Ten Wicked Years
How has it been TEN YEARS since Wicked hit Broadway and sparked a global greenfest? The show kicked off at the Gershwin Theatre in New York on 30 October 2003 and has not stopped Defying Gravity ever since – with the London production still packing them in at the Apollo Victoria Theatre.
The original stars of the show, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth, have just joined a 10 Year Reunion feature for Entertainment Weekly and look as fine as they did a decade ago as the Wicked witches.
Box-Office Big Beasts
The Lion King has just topped a money milestone on the Great White Way by grossing more than $1 billion – the first Broadway musical in history to top this figure.
That means it has taken more than the worldwide gross of the original movie. The show is already Broadway’s highest-grossing show of all time, topping The Phantom of the Opera last April. Phantom is still Broadway’s longest-running musical though, with The Lion King coming in fifth – but about to topple Les Miserable to gain fourth place.
The Lion King also continues to rake it in at the Lyceum Theatre in London and is currently celebrating its birthday having opened on 19th October 1999. Happy 14th birthday.
More Broadway Banter
- JAMES FRANCO: Looks like James Franco is going to make his Broadway debut this spring – as George in John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men.
- TONI COLLETTE: Also this Spring it seems that Toni Collette is also going to hit Broadway, in Will Eno comedy The Realistic Joneses alongside Dexter’s Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei.
January 10, 2013
- Olympics year was the show’s best ever, setting new records
- Second production now touring the UK, playing to 100% sold out theatres
- Over one million experience THE LION KING in the UK in 2012
Disney’s THE LION KING defied industry expectations in a year that many industry experts had predicted would be challenging for theatres. Performing to almost 800,000 people at London’s Lyceum Theatre, the show grossed over £38.6M – breaking its own record for the eighth consecutive year and once again setting a new record for highest grossing year in West End theatre history.
David Schrader, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director of the Disney Theatrical Group said: “We continue to be humbled and thrilled by the way London audiences embrace Julie Taymor’s extraordinary production. For a musical to achieve its highest gross in its 13th year is almost unparalleled – let alone in a year where other major events dominated the capital.”
“Of course, the show’s continued success would not be possible without our extraordinarily talented cast and crew who keep the show as thrilling as on opening night, along with our many partners and ticketing agents, who have supported THE LION KING since it opened.”
While the London production remains ascendant, in August 2012 it was joined in the UK by a touring production – the largest production ever to tour the country. Opening in Bristol to critical and audience acclaim, the show is now playing to capacity audiences at Manchester’s Palace Theatre. It will play seasons in Dublin and Birmingham in 2013.
Between the London and touring productions, over one million people experienced THE LION KING in the UK in 2012.
Disney’s THE LION KING is based on the beloved Academy award-winning animated film which was entrusted to Director and Co-Designer Julie Taymor to adapt the film for the stage. Taymor brought a vast array of disciplines to THE LION KING which draws upon her immeasurable experience of various theatrical styles and cultures to tell the compelling tale of Simba, the young lion cub, as he journeys through life and struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role of King.
The acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s 1994 film was first seen on Broadway in 1997, where it recently became the highest grossing show in Broadway history. The production has now been seen by over 65 million people across five continents.
In addition to the record-breaking productions in London and New York, Disney’s THE LION KING can currently be seen in Tokyo, Hamburg, Madrid and on tour in the US and Japan. In 2013, new productions will open in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Sydney, Australia.
Press release issued by: Target Live
June 10, 2012
Disney On Ice presents Passport to Adventure, a fun-filled tour to four exciting destinations – and four of Disney’s most-loved films.
Filled with your favourite Disney friends, join Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse on a journey into the magical worlds of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Peter Pan and Lilo & Stitch.
Discover Ariel and Sebastian’s enchanting undersea kingdom; visit the Pride Lands with Simba and Nala; soar through starry skies with Peter Pan and his sassy fairy friend Tinker Bell; and say “aloha” to fun with Lilo and Stitch.
A magical journey for all ages, Disney on Ice Passport to Adventure will visit Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield and London.
London: Wembley Arena
28 December 2012 – 6 January 2013
June 25, 2011
West End Live 2011 photos including Jonathan Wilkes in Chicago, and the casts of Priscilla Queen of the Desert and The Lion King.
November 20, 2010
The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre – Christmas in the West End
October 19, 2010
The Lion King is the acclaimed stage adaptation of Disney’s successful animated film. Directed and designed by Julie Taymor, the spectacular show has won a slate of awards including six Tony Awards.
Disney’s The Lion King Celebrates 10 years in London
Video trailer for Disney’s The Lion King – in stunning HD
October 18, 2010
When We Are Married and The Go! Go! Go! Show start previews this week in the West End. Plus special anniversaries for The Lion King and Dirty Dancing.
WHEN WE ARE MARRIED
Classic playwright J B Priestley is back in the West End and on fine comic form in When We Are Married, starting previews on Tuesday 19 October at the Garrick Theatre.
An all-star cast feature in his beautifully witty play about three highly respectable couples who were all married in the same Yorkshire church on the same day – and are celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss. Then out of the blue, disaster strikes: the vicar was never licensed – they’ve been living in sin all these years!
Directed by Christopher Luscombe, the play stars a who’s who of British comic acting talent including Lynda Baron, Roy Hudd, Sam Kelly, Maureen Lipman, Susie Blake, Michele Dotrice, David Horovitch, Rosemary Ashe and Simon Rouse. Not to be missed.
THE GO! GO! GO! SHOW
This Saturday, 23 October, sees the return of The Go! Go! Go! Show to the West End. This fun family show features a clever story woven around five young pop stars, and includes brand new pop songs specially written for the show. The production has impressive credentials, including direction by Carole Todd (Dreamboats & Petticoats), choreography by Paul Domaine (The Saturdays, Sugababes, Dannii Minogue), an original story by Dean Wilkinson (Cbeebies, CBBC, Ant & Dec) and music by Mike Stock (one third of the legendary Stock, Aitken & Waterman) and Steve Crosby (who masterminded Steps). With plenty of audience interaction for kids of all ages it promises to be a big winter hit.
The Lion King celebrates its 11th birthday tomorrow, 19 October, at the Lyceum Theatre in London. Disney’s award-winning show goes into its 12th year continuing to attract full houses. Its director Julie Taymor, who won a wealth of awards for the imaginative production, will open her new production of Spider-Man: Turn off the dark next month in New York.
Also celebrating a birthday this week is Dirty Dancing at the Aldwych Theatre, which turns 4 on Sunday 24 October. The show currently stars Dancing on Ice winner Ray Quinn as Billy Kostecki, Hannah Vassallo as Baby and Johnny Wright as Johnny Castle.
July 29, 2010
The Lion King is Disney’s spectacular and multi award-winning musical based on the hit animated film, now playing at the Lyceum Theatre in London.
Directed by the Tony award-winning Julie Taymor (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark), Disney’s The Lion King is one of the most imaginative and beautiful musicals to ever be staged. A huge hit around the world, the show is a spectacular visual feast that transports audiences young and old into the gloriously colourful world of the Serengeti Plains of Africa.
Using magical puppetry, costumes and sets, a dazzling world is evoked as the powerful story of Simba the lion is told, as he embarks on an epic adventure from wide-eyed cub to fulfil his destiny as the King of the Pridelands.
Featuring Oscar winning music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, The Lion King promises an extraordinary, magical trip to the theatre.
Disney’s The Lion king opened at the Lyceum Theatre on 19 October 1999.
“A ROARING SUCCESS” Evening Standard
“AS FRESH AND SOUL-STIRRING AS EVER” Telegraph