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The Lion King named history’s most successful show

September 22, 2014 

Disney’s musical The Lion King has beaten The Phantom of the Opera to become the most successful show of all time.

The Lion King becomes the most successful show of all time

The Lion King becomes the most successful show of all time

The musical has grossed a staggering $6.2 billion worldwide, making it the most successful box office blockbuster ever – across all entertainment media.

The Lion King passed The Phantom of the Opera’s $6 billion top spot in August 2014.

According to the Associated Press, producers of Phantom – Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group – congratulated Disney, naming the show the “Pride of Broadway.”

The Lion King’s onstage success bypasses takings from any Disney movie, and other any major movies including Harry Potter, Titanic and even Avatar – which is history’s highest grossing movie having made nearly $2.8 billion worldwide.

The show is currently playing at the Lyceum Theatre in London, the Minskoff Theatre in New York, and in Tokyo, Las Vegas, Hamburg and on a North America tour.

Phantom, however, keeps its crown as the longest-running show in Broadway history – with the original production at Her Majesty’s Theatre in London also still going strong.

Disney’s The Lion King is directed by Julie Taymor and features music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, and is based on the hugely successful Disney animated movie.

The show is still performing well in London and New York, with the Broadway production beating all other shows last year to be the highest grossing of 2013, with 2014 shaping up to be the same. It has also increased its audience in four of the last five years on Broadway, with the London show seeing a 6% increase in attendance over the last five years.

According to a Disney rep, the Broadway audience for the show is divided into four equals groups: Manhattan residents, commuters from New York and surrounding States, domestic US tourists and overseas tourists, a statistic which is likely to be mirrored in London.

BOOK

Book tickets to The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre, London
Book tickets to The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre, New York
Book tickets to The Phamtom of the Opera at Her Majesty’s Theatre, London
Book tickets to The Phamtom of the Opera at the Majestic Theatre, New York

LINKS

Associated Press story about The Lion King

Broadway shows take the ALS Ice Bucket challenge

August 21, 2014 

It seems that Broadway shows are doing their bit for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge fundraising effort.

The ALS Association has raised millions of dollars over the last few days with their viral Ice Bucket Challenge — asking people and groups to pour iced water over themselves or donate to the cause.

And Broadway shows have stepped up.

See videos below from the Broadway casts of The Book of Mormon, The Lion King, ONCE and Newsies.

West End Joins In

Also happening today – West End shows are starting to rise to the challenge – with the cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane joining in:

Make a donation at ALSA.org.

Videos – Broadway Shows

The Book of Mormon ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The Lion King ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ONCE The Musical ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Newsies ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

LINKS

ALS – Donate Now
Book Broadway Shows

14 July: On this day in 1834… The Lyceum Theatre opened in London

July 14, 2014 

On this day in… 1834

The Lyceum Theatre opened in London

QUICK FACTS

  • Theatre opened: 14 July 1834
  • Designed by: Samuel Beazley
  • First production: John Barnett’s opera The Mountain Sylph
  • Number of seats: 2000
  • Other info: The first theatre called the Lyceum was built on an adjacent site to the current venue in 1794. This theatre burnt down on 16 February 1830. When the new theatre was built in 1834 it was initially called the New Theatre Royal, Lyceum and English Opera House. The theatre was long associated with the actor manager Sir Henry Irving and actress Ellen Terry. On 1 July 1939 the theatre closed down following a performance of Hamlet starring John Gielgud. In 1945 the theatre was converted into a Ballroom called the Palais de Dance. In 1996 the theatre was restored and reopened in on 31 October 1996.
#464419049 / gettyimages.com A large queue outside the Lyceum Theatre, London, 1909. Henry Irving and Ellen Terry both performed there. Built in 1834, only the facade of the original theatre remained by 1909, the rest being rebuilt in 1903-4. It finally closed in 1934. (Photo by English Heritage/Heritage Images/Getty Images)

#3321203 / gettyimages.com 23rd October 1847: The interior of the Lyceum Theatre after it had been redecorated. Original Publication: Illustrated London News – pub. 1847 Original Artwork: Engraving – Smyth (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

LINKS

Book tickets to Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre

Disney’s The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre

June 1, 2014 

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.

REVIEWS

“A roaring success” Evening Standard
“As fresh and soul-stirring as ever” Daily Telegraph
“There is simply nothing else like it.” The New York Times
“You hope all nights in the theatre will be like this!” The Daily Mail

Disney’s The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre | Broadway Tickets

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.

West End Theatre: News this week

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?

Denise van Outen in new show Some Girl I Used To Know

Denise van Outen in new show Some Girl I Used To Know

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

The cast of One Man, Two Guvnors at the curtain call. Photo: Dan Wooller

The cast of One Man, Two Guvnors at the curtain call. Photo: Dan Wooller

Hit National Theatre comedy One Man, Two Guvnors became the longest running play at Theatre Royal Haymarket this week. Cast celebrated at a special gala. Read more.

Photo: The Bodyguard

Tristan Gemmill (Frank Farmer) and Beverley Knight (Rachel Marron) at the Curtain Call for The Bodyguard. Photo: Dan Wooller

Tristan Gemmill (Frank Farmer) and Beverley Knight (Rachel Marron) at the Curtain Call for The Bodyguard. Photo: Dan Wooller

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

Penelope Wilton

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

The Lion King

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.

 

 

Rufus Norris

Rufus Norris

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.

 

Broadway: This Week’s News Round-up

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

Daniel Evans as Bobby in Company in Sheffield

Daniel Evans as Bobby in Company in Sheffield

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 stars in Hedwig and the Andry Inch

Neil Patrick Harris stars in Hedwig and the Andry Inch

Hedwig and the Angry InchNeil 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

Wicked alumni, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Photo copyright Entertainment Weekly

Wicked alumni, Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth. Photo copyright Entertainment Weekly

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 at the Minskoff Theatre in New York

The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre in New York

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.

LINKS

Broadway.com – Book Broadway shows

BestOfNewYork.com – Book Broadway shows

Disney’s The Lion King Celebrates Its Most Successful Year In 2012

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

LINKS

Book tickets to THE LION KING at the Lyceum Theatre in London

Disney On Ice Passport to Adventure

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.

 

BOOKING INFORMATION

London: Wembley Arena

28 December 2012 – 6 January 2013
BOOK NOW

West End Live 2011: Chicago, The Lion King, Priscilla Queen of the Desert

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.

LINKS

More News on West End Live

Book tickets to Chicago at the Cambridge Theatre

Book tickets to The Lion King at the Lyceum Theatre

Book tickets to Priscilla Queen of the Desert at the Palace Theatre

View West End Live photos of Rock of Ages and Betty Blue Eyes

View West End Live photos of The Wizard of Oz and Crazy For You

View West End Live photos of Ghost The Musical, Wicked and Jersey Boys

View West End Live photos of Legally Blonde and Lend Me A Tenor

View West End Live photos of Billy Elliot and Love Never Dies

 

 

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