Casting has been announced for the Nashville return engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING. Nashville’s most eagerly awaited stage production ever will leap onto the stage in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall from Tuesday, May 7 to Sunday, June 2. The press opening night is Thursday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m. The show’s six-week premiere engagement in 2006 played a sold-out run at TPAC.
The production features Timothy Carter as “Scar”, Dionne Randolph as “Mufasa”, Nteliseng Nkhela as “Rafiki”, Mark David Kaplan as “Zazu”, Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa”, Nick Cordileone as “Timon”, Jelani Remy as “Simba”, Syndee Winters as “Nala”, Keith Bennett as “Banzai”, Rashada Dawan as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”
The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Zavion J. Hill and Adante Power and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Sade Phillip-Demorcy and Kailah McFadden.
In Nashville, THE LION KING will play Tuesday through Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 p.m., Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m., with Saturday matinees at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 1:30 p.m. There will be a 1:00 p.m. matinee performance on Thursday, May 30. Premium Ticket Packages, which include prime seat locations, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available. Tickets are available at the TPAC Box Office, by calling (615) 782-4040, or via the Internet at www.tpac.org. Orders for groups of twenty (20) or more may be placed by calling (615) 782-4060.
In its 16th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 21 global productions have been seen by more than 68 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 96 years. 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 seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, in Tokyo and on tour in Japan, in London’s West End and on tour throughout the UK, and in Hamburg, Madrid and Sao Paolo. To date, THE LION KING has played 98 cities in 16 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, with a cumulative gross in excess of $5 billion, the stage production of THE LION KING already has earned more than the biggest hit films in movie history: more than the Lord of the Rings trilogy combined, more than the six Star Wars films combined, and more than Avatar and Titanic, the two highest-grossing films in movie history, combined.
The award-winning musical will celebrate a new milestone in December 2013 when it returns to Australia, making it the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s 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 also has 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 in Las Vegas, Madrid and the UK tour and just completed casting the Brazilian production in Sao Paolo.
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 www.LionKing.com
The Nashville engagement of THE LION KING is presented by arrangement with TPAC and is a subscription offering of the HCA/Tri-Star Health Broadway at TPAC series.
TPAC is an accessible facility that provides a variety of services including wheelchair accommodations, accessible parking, and assistive listening devices. Open captioning, American Sign Language, audio description, and large print and Braille programs are offered at the Sunday matinee performance of each Broadway Series and Broadway Special show. For more information about accessible services, contact Keely Hagan at (615) 782-4081.
*Photos by Joan Marcus courtesy TPAC.