The North American touring production of the Tony-winning Disney musical The Lion King resumes performances beginning October 1 at Cleveland's Playhouse Square. Watch the company reassemble for their first rehearsal above.
Returning to the cast are Spencer Plachy as Scar, Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa, Nick Cordileone as Timon, Jürgen Hooper as Zazu, Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa, Kayla Cyphers as Nala, Keith Bennett as Banzai, Martina Sykes as Shenzi, Robbie Swift as Ed, Charlie Kahler as Young Simba, and Kalandra Rhodes as Young Nala.
Also in the company: Gugwana Dlamini as Rafiki, Darian Sanders as Simba, Jaylen Lyndon Hunter and Charlie Kahler alternating as Young Simba, and Nia Mulder alternating with Kalandra Rhodes as Young Nala.
The ensemble includes Derek Adams, Kayla Rose Aimable, Sandy Alvarez, William John Austin, Eric Bean, Jr., TyNia René Brandon, Sasha Caicedo, Sean Aaron Carmon, Kyle Robert Carter, Thembelihle Cele, Adrianne Chu, Daniela Cobb, Lyric Danae, Paige Fraser, Tony Freeman, Mukelisiwe Goba, Jamal Lee Harris, Alia Kache, Jane King, Gabisile Manana, Christopher L. McKenzie, Jr., Marq Moss, Nhlanhla Ndlovu, Aaron Nelson, Sihle Ngema, Sicelo Ntshangase, Sayiga Eugene Peabody, Kevin Petite, Yael Pineda-Hall, Nathan Andrew Riley, Maurica Roland, Christopher Sams, Jennifer Theriot, Courtney Thomas, and Shacura Wade.
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.
The Tony-winning Disney musical reopened on Broadway September 14 at the Minskoff Theatre following its closure since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The tour follows CDC, local, state, and city health and safety guidelines, as well as all union protocols.