The Lion King (musical)
Overview
 
The Lion King is a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name
The Lion King
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

 with music by Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 and lyrics by Tim Rice
Tim Rice
Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice is an British lyricist and author.An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus...

 along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including critically acclaimed film scores for The Lion King , Crimson Tide , The Thin Red Line , Gladiator , The Dark Knight and Inception .Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the...

 with choral arrangements by Lebo M
Lebo M
Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and...

. Directed by Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppet
Puppet
A puppet is an inanimate object or representational figure animated or manipulated by an entertainer, who is called a puppeteer. It is used in puppetry, a play or a presentation that is a very ancient form of theatre....

s. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical.

The musical debuted July 8, 1997, in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 at the Orpheum Theatre, and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 in previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997.
Encyclopedia
The Lion King is a musical
Musical theatre
Musical theatre is a form of theatre combining songs, spoken dialogue, acting, and dance. The emotional content of the piece – humor, pathos, love, anger – as well as the story itself, is communicated through the words, music, movement and technical aspects of the entertainment as an...

 based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name
The Lion King
The Lion King is a 1994 American animated film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series...

 with music by Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

 and lyrics by Tim Rice
Tim Rice
Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice is an British lyricist and author.An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus...

 along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including critically acclaimed film scores for The Lion King , Crimson Tide , The Thin Red Line , Gladiator , The Dark Knight and Inception .Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the...

 with choral arrangements by Lebo M
Lebo M
Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and...

. Directed by Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppet
Puppet
A puppet is an inanimate object or representational figure animated or manipulated by an entertainer, who is called a puppeteer. It is used in puppetry, a play or a presentation that is a very ancient form of theatre....

s. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical.

The musical debuted July 8, 1997, in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, Minnesota
Minnesota
Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

 at the Orpheum Theatre, and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 in previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997. On June 13, 2006, the Broadway production moved to the Minskoff Theatre
Minskoff Theatre
The Minskoff Theatre is a legitimate Broadway theatre, located at 1515 Broadway in midtown-Manhattan. It is now showing the musical The Lion King, based on the Disney animated film of the same name....

 to make way for the musical version of Mary Poppins
Mary Poppins (musical)
Mary Poppins is a Walt Disney Theatrical musical based on the similarly titled series of children's books by P. L. Travers and the Disney 1964 film. The West End production opened in December 2004 and received two Olivier Awards, one for Best Actress in a Musical and the other for Best Theatre...

, where it is still running after more than 5,350 performances. It is now Broadway's seventh longest-running show in history.

The show debuted in the West End
West End theatre
West End theatre is a popular term for mainstream professional theatre staged in the large theatres of London's 'Theatreland', the West End. Along with New York's Broadway theatre, West End theatre is usually considered to represent the highest level of commercial theatre in the English speaking...

's Lyceum Theatre on October 19, 1999 and is still running. The cast of the West End production were invited to perform at the Royal Variety Performance
Royal Variety Performance
The Royal Variety Performance is a gala evening held annually in the United Kingdom, which is attended by senior members of the British Royal Family, usually the reigning monarch. In more recent years Queen Elizabeth II and The Prince of Wales have alternately attended the performance...

 2008 at the London Palladium
London Palladium
The London Palladium is a 2,286 seat West End theatre located off Oxford Street in the City of Westminster. From the roster of stars who have played there and many televised performances, it is arguably the most famous theatre in London and the United Kingdom, especially for musical variety...

 on December 11, in the presence of senior members of the British Royal Family
British Royal Family
The British Royal Family is the group of close relatives of the monarch of the United Kingdom. The term is also commonly applied to the same group of people as the relations of the monarch in her or his role as sovereign of any of the other Commonwealth realms, thus sometimes at variance with...

.

U.S. and international productions

After the success of the Broadway show, the show was produced in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1999 by Harrison Lochtenberg, and continues to play at the Lyceum Theatre
Lyceum Theatre (London)
The Lyceum Theatre is a 2,000-seat West End theatre located in the City of Westminster, on Wellington Street, just off the Strand. There has been a theatre with this name in the locality since 1765, and the present site opened on 14 July 1834 to a design by Samuel Beazley. The building was unique...

 in London. Taymor led the British production of the show, with Melissa De Melo as the producer. The London Production recently celebrated its 10th anniversary in the West End.

A Canadian production of the show was staged in Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

 and ran for nearly four years at the Princess of Wales Theatre
Princess of Wales Theatre
The Princess of Wales Theatre is a 2000-seat theatre located at 300 King Street West in the heart of Toronto's Entertainment District in the downtown area...

. The show ran from 1999–2004.

A Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

 production began performances at the Pantages Theatre
Pantages Theatre (Hollywood)
The Pantages Theatre, formerly known as RKO Pantages Theatre, is located at Hollywood and Vine , Hollywood, California, USA. Designed by architect B. Marcus Priteca, it was the last theater built by the vaudeville impresario Alexander Pantages...

 on September 29, 2000 with an official opening on October 19, 2000. The show closed on January 12, 2003 after 952 performances.

The show played at the Capitol Theatre
Capitol Theatre, Sydney
The Capitol Theatre is a historic theatre building located at 13 Campbell Street, Haymarket, Sydney, Australia.-History:The Capitol Theatre is at the former site of the Belmore Markets. The latter were built in 1891 by George McRae, City Architect, and the structural engineer Norman Selfe, but were...

 in Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, from October 16, 2003, until June 26, 2005. The production then ran at the Regent Theatre in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 from July 28, 2005 until June 4, 2006.

The musical had a Korean production from October 28, 2006 to October 28, 2007 at the Charlotte Theater, southern Seoul.

The Dutch production in 2004 was made at the Circus Theater until August 27, 2006, taking place for Tarzan.

Beginning in June 2007, The Lion King Musical debuted its first ever performance on the African continent in Johannesburg
Johannesburg
Johannesburg also known as Jozi, Jo'burg or Egoli, is the largest city in South Africa, by population. Johannesburg is the provincial capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province in South Africa, having the largest economy of any metropolitan region in Sub-Saharan Africa...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

. Its tenth year anniversary was celebrated in the new Teatro Theatre at Monte Casino in Fourways. The Lion King is the first production to take place in the new theatre. The opening night in Johannesburg, was celebrated with key persons involving the creation of the Lion King Musical, and American talk show host Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

, who had recently opened an educational academy for girls in Johannesburg The show closed on February 17, 2008.

The Lion King Musical debuted in Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

 on September 22, 2007 in the Théâtre Mogador
Théâtre Mogador
Théâtre Mogador founded in 1913 and designed by Bertie Crewe, is a Parisian music hall theatre located at 25, rue de Mogador in the 9th district. It seats 1,800 people on three tiers.In 1913 financier Sir Alfred Butt rented an area in Paris...

.

There is currently one U.S. touring production. (At one time there were 2 US touring productions travelling simultaneously). The tour version is very similar to the original Broadway production; however, certain scenic elements which rise out of the stage floor (such as Pride Rock, the stampede, and the grasslands) were converted to less costly configurations for the touring productions. The sun during the opening is reduced in size for the shorter-lasting tours. Stage sizes are also smaller, and the size of the pit orchestra
Pit orchestra
A pit orchestra is a type of orchestra that accompanies performers in musicals, operas, and other shows involving music. In performances of operas and ballets, the pit orchestra is typically similar in size to a symphony orchestra, though it may contain smaller string and brass sections, depending...

 is decreased.

In August 2008, a production opened in Taipei
Taipei
Taipei City is the capital of the Republic of China and the central city of the largest metropolitan area of Taiwan. Situated at the northern tip of the island, Taipei is located on the Tamsui River, and is about 25 km southwest of Keelung, its port on the Pacific Ocean...

, Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

, closing on August 24, 2009.

The musical had a Mexican
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

 production (in English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

) between January 3 and January 27, 2008 in Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the Federal District , capital of Mexico and seat of the federal powers of the Mexican Union. It is a federal entity within Mexico which is not part of any one of the 31 Mexican states but belongs to the federation as a whole...

.

A Las Vegas
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip is an approximately stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard in Clark County, Nevada; adjacent to, but outside the city limits of Las Vegas proper. The Strip lies within the unincorporated townships of Paradise and Winchester...

 production opened at Mandalay Bay on May 15, 2009 with previews beginning May 5, 2009.

On October 20, 2011 the first Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 production opened at Teatro Lope de Vega in Madrid
Madrid
Madrid is the capital and largest city of Spain. The population of the city is roughly 3.3 million and the entire population of the Madrid metropolitan area is calculated to be 6.271 million. It is the third largest city in the European Union, after London and Berlin, and its metropolitan...

, produced by Stage Entertainment
Stage Entertainment
The musical production company Stage Entertainment is based in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It has a very successful subsidiary in Germany based in Hamburg which almost has a monopoly in Germany.- History :...

.

The Lion King, is coming to the Marina Bay Sands Theatre. Base Entertainment and Marina Bay Sands are bringing the Disney Theatrical Group production to Singapore. The South-east Asian premiere in Singapore will be a duplicate of the other shows performing in other parts of the world, such as London and New York. It will feature a new company of performers auditioned around the world. The show debuted in March 2011, closing on October 30, 2011.

It was announced what musical will come to Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 in near future.

Act I

As the sun rises, Rafiki the baboon
Baboon
Baboons are African and Arabian Old World monkeys belonging to the genus Papio, part of the subfamily Cercopithecinae. There are five species, which are some of the largest non-hominoid members of the primate order; only the mandrill and the drill are larger...

 calls the animals to Pride Rock. She greets King Mufasa and Queen Sarabi before presenting their cub to the gathered animals ("Circle of Life
Circle of Life
The song was re-recorded in 2003 by the Disney Channel Circle of Stars, a group of actors and actresses who have appeared in Disney Channel television series and original movies...

"). Elsewhere, Mufasa's brother, Scar, laments on his lost chance at becoming king. Back at her baobab tree
Adansonia
Adansonia is a genus of eight species of tree, six native to Madagascar, one native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula and one to Australia. The mainland African species also occurs on Madagascar, but it is not a native of that island....

, Rafiki asks the spirit
Spirit
The English word spirit has many differing meanings and connotations, most of them relating to a non-corporeal substance contrasted with the material body.The spirit of a living thing usually refers to or explains its consciousness.The notions of a person's "spirit" and "soul" often also overlap,...

s to conjure the new prince
Prince
Prince is a general term for a ruler, monarch or member of a monarch's or former monarch's family, and is a hereditary title in the nobility of some European states. The feminine equivalent is a princess...

's name: Simba
Simba
Simba is a lion character and the protagonist of Disney's most successful animated feature film, The Lion King. He is the son of Mufasa and Sarabi, nephew of Scar, mate of Nala, and father of Kiara. He has golden fur and when he grows into an adult, he has an auburn mane...

.

Time passes and Simba grows into a lively young cub ("Grasslands Chant"). Mufasa shows Simba the Pride Lands from the top of Pride Rock and explains that everything exists in a delicate balance known as the Circle of Life. Mufasa warns Simba not to stray beyond the boundaries of the Pride Lands, pointing out a shadowy area in the distance. Zazu, a hornbill
Hornbill
Hornbills are a family of bird found in tropical and subtropical Africa, Asia and Melanesia. They are characterized by a long, down-curved bill which is frequently brightly-colored and sometimes has a casque on the upper mandible. Both the common English and the scientific name of the family...

 who acts as Mufasa's advisor, arrives and delivers his daily report on the state of affairs in the King's domain. ("The Morning Report", now cut from the show)

Simba goes to see his uncle Scar. The scheming lion piques the cub's curiosity by mentioning the elephant graveyard, a place where Simba is forbidden to go.
The lionesses go out hunting ("The Lioness Hunt"), and Simba arrives and asks his best friend, a female cub named Nala to come with him to the elephant graveyard, although he does not mention their intended location to his mother- he lies that they intend to go to the water-hole. Sarafina (Nala's mother) and Sarabi allow the cubs to go when Zazu accompanies them. Simba and Nala formulate a plan and manage to lose Zazu, while Simba brags about his future position, ("I Just Can't Wait to Be King
I Just Can't Wait to Be King
"I Just Can't Wait to Be King" is a stylistic musical number from Disney's popular 1994 animated film, The Lion King."I Just Can't Wait to Be King" is a large contrast from the film's non-musical segments, as emphasized by the number's usage of lively colors and sounds...

").

The cubs journey to the graveyard and begin to explore until Zazu stops them. They are about to leave when they are confronted by the three hyenas Shenzi, Banzai and Ed. The Hyenas intend to have all three of the unfortunates for lunch, and gloat over them eagerly, ("Chow Down"). Mufasa arrives to rescue the cubs and frightens off the hyenas.

Mufasa is disappointed and angry that Simba disobeyed him. Simba says that he was only trying to be brave like his father. Mufasa explains that bravery does not mean recklessly seeking out danger. Simba asks whether he and his father
Father
A father, Pop, Dad, or Papa, is defined as a male parent of any type of offspring. The adjective "paternal" refers to father, parallel to "maternal" for mother...

 will always be together, causing Mufasa to look up to the night sky and tell Simba about the great kings of the past and how they guide and watch over everything ("They Live in You"). Mufasa says that he will always be there for his son.

Back at the elephant graveyard, Scar tells the hyenas that he will soon be king if the hyenas assist him, and that they will never be hungry again if they agree ("Be Prepared
Be Prepared
The Scout Motto of the Scout Movement, in various languages, has been used by millions of Scouts around the world since 1907. Most of the member organizations of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts share this same motto....

").

Scar takes Simba to a gorge and tells him to wait there. Scar leaves and signals the hyenas, who start a wildebeest stampede
Stampede
A stampede is an act of mass impulse among herd animals or a crowd of people in which the herd collectively begins running with no clear direction or purpose....

 down into the gorge ("The Stampede"). Scar tells Mufasa that Simba is trapped in the gorge, and Mufasa races to his son's aid. Mufasa leaps into the stampede and manages to save his son, but as he climbs a cliff, Scar betrays him and throws him down from the cliff, killing him. Scar convinces Simba that his father's death was his fault, as Mufasa died trying to save him, and that he should flee the Pride Lands. As Simba runs, Scar orders the hyenas to chase and kill Simba. The hyenas obey, but when Simba gets too far, they decide to leave him and make Scar believe that Simba is dead. Back at Pride Rock, Scar announces that Mufasa and Simba are both dead, and the lionesses and Rafiki mourn ("Rafiki Mourns"). Scar climbs to the promontory of Pride Rock, claims the throne for himself, and allows the hyenas into the Pride Lands as his executive staff ("Be Prepared (Reprise)"). Rafiki returns to her tree and smears the drawing of Simba, while Sarabi and Nala mourn for the ones whom they have loved and lost.

Out in the desert, Simba collapses from heat exhaustion. Vultures begin to circle, but are scared away by Timon
Timon and Pumbaa
Timon and Pumbaa are an animated meerkat and warthog duo introduced in Disney's popular 1994 animated film The Lion King. Timon was portrayed through his many appearances by Nathan Lane , Max Casella , Kevin Schon , Quinton Flynn Timon and Pumbaa are an animated meerkat and warthog duo introduced...

, the meerkat, and Pumbaa
Timon and Pumbaa
Timon and Pumbaa are an animated meerkat and warthog duo introduced in Disney's popular 1994 animated film The Lion King. Timon was portrayed through his many appearances by Nathan Lane , Max Casella , Kevin Schon , Quinton Flynn Timon and Pumbaa are an animated meerkat and warthog duo introduced...

, the warthog. The duo take the cub back to their jungle home and show him their relaxed way of life ("Hakuna Matata
Hakuna Matata
Hakuna matata is a Swahili phrase that is literally translated as "There are no worries." It is sometimes translated as "no worries", although is more commonly used similarly to the American English phrase "no problem".-Jambo Bwana:...

"). They tell Simba that they are outcasts as well and later introduce him to their diet of bugs and insects. Simba is captivated by the carefree existence, and stays in the jungle with his new friends for a long time.

Act II

The chorus, dressed in colorful clothes with ornate bird puppets and kites, begin the Second Act ("One by One"). As the song ends, however, the beautiful birds are replaced by vultures and gazelle skeletons. A drought has hit the Pride Lands under Scar's tyrannical rule.

Zazu, now a prisoner of Scar, listens to the king's woes. First, Scar has delusions of Mufasa's ghost haunting in every shadow. Then, he laments that he is not loved and arrives on the idea of finding a queen and having cubs. Nala arrives to inform Scar that there is no food and no water, just as the hyenas reported the same thing a few minutes ago; Scar attempts to flirt with her. Nala escapes ("The Madness of King Scar"). Utterly frustrated and upset by current events, Nala decides to leave the Pride Lands and find help, vowing that she will never forget her pride
Lion
The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger...

. The lionesses and Rafiki offer a blessing ("Shadowland").

Back in the jungle, Simba leads Timon and Pumbaa to find a resting place. Timon and Pumbaa want to sleep, but the restless Simba is unable to sleep. Annoyed by Timon and Pumbaa, Simba disappears into the night. Timon and Pumbaa lose their courage and follow Simba through the dark jungle. Simba leaps across a fast-moving river and challenges Timon to do the same. Timon falls into the water and is swept downstream by the current until he reaches a waterfall, where he grabs onto a branch. Simba wants to save Timon but is sent into a flashback of Mufasa's death. Timon falls from the branch and Simba snaps out of the flashback, rescuing his friend. Simba is ashamed that Timon nearly died because of his recklessness.

That night the three friends look up at the stars, wondering what they are. Simba recalls Mufasa's words regarding the great kings of the past, but Timon and Pumbaa dismiss it and laugh at the notion. Simba leaves, looking up at the sky and expresses his bitterness about Mufasa's promise to always be there for him("Endless Night"). At Rafiki's Tree, Rafiki hears Simba's song on the wind and comes to the joyous conclusion that Simba is alive. She draws a mane onto the drawing of Simba on her tree.

In the jungle, Pumbaa is being hunted and chased by a lioness. Simba confronts the lioness and saves his friend. The lioness flips Simba, causing Simba to recognize that the lioness is his childhood friend Nala. Nala is amazed to find Simba alive, knowing that he is the rightful king. Timon and Pumbaa are confused by this, and Simba tells the two to leave so that he and Nala can be alone. Timon realizes what is happening and laments that he and Pumbaa's Hakuna Matata lifestyle has come to an end ("Can You Feel the Love Tonight
Can You Feel the Love Tonight
250px|thumb|right|Simba and Nala embrace during the "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" sequence."Can You Feel the Love Tonight" is a song from Disney's 1994 animated film, The Lion King, composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice. It was described by Don Hahn , Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff as...

"). Nala tells Simba about the state of the devastated Pride Lands, trying to encourage him to return and take his rightful place as king. Simba is still guilty about his father's death and leaves.

On his own, Simba meets Rafiki, who explains that his father is still alive ("He Lives in You (Reprise)"). As Simba looks toward the sky, his father appears as a heavenly vision. Mufasa reminds Simba that he is the rightful king and must return home. Simba is persuaded and heads for Pride Rock.

Meanwhile, Nala wakes Timon and Pumbaa to ask where Simba is. Rafiki appears and tells them that he has returned to Pride Rock.

Simba returns to Pride Rock with Nala, Timon and Pumbaa, where he witnesses the ruin that his home has fallen into. Timon and Pumbaa lure some hyenas out of their path by providing a diversion. Timon dresses in drag and does the Charleston
Charleston (dance)
The Charleston is a dance named for the harbor city of Charleston, South Carolina. The rhythm was popularized in mainstream dance music in the United States by a 1923 tune called "The Charleston" by composer/pianist James P. Johnson which originated in the Broadway show Runnin' Wild and became one...

. Simba tells Nala to go find his mother while he goes look for Scar.

Scar calls for Sarabi and demands to know why the lionesses are not hunting. Sarabi tells him that there is no food or water and that they need to leave Pride Rock to survive. Scar refuses and when Sarabi snaps at him about not being half the king Mufasa was, Scar strikes his sister-in-law saying that he was ten times the king Mufasa was. At this, an enraged Simba leaps down, startling Scar, who believes his nephew to be dead. Scar forces a confession of murder from Simba and attacks him, forcing him over the edge of Pride Rock. Believing that he has won, Scar whispers to Simba that he was the one who killed Mufasa. Simba, infuriated, leaps up and grabs Scar by the throat, causing Scar to reveal the truth. A fierce battle rages between the lionesses, Timon, Pumbaa, Rafiki and the hyenas ("Simba Confronts Scar").

Simba corners Scar on the top of Pride Rock, where Scar begs for his life and blames everything on the hyenas. In a repetition of Scar's words to cub Simba, Simba tells Scar to run away and never return. Scar, with the thought of Simba killing him, appears to follow this request, but turns quickly and attacks Simba again. Simba is able to block the attack, making Scar trip and fall over the cliff where the hyenas are waiting below. They surround their former leader and kill him.

The battle having finally ended, Simba's friends come forward and acknowledge Simba as the new and rightful king. Simba climbs to the top of Pride Rock and roars out across the kingdom. The animals gather at the call of their new king and celebrate ("King of Pride Rock"). Rafiki, Nala and Simba ascend Pride Rock where Rafiki lifts Simba and Nala's newborn cub high into the air, thus continuing the Circle of Life and ushering in a new golden age ("Circle of Life (Reprise)").

Songs

Act I
Song Written by Performed by Sample
Circle of Life Elton John and Tim Rice Rafiki and Ensemble
Grasslands Chant Lebo M
Lebo M
Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and...

 
Ensemble
The Morning Report* Elton John and Tim Rice Zazu, Young Simba and Mufasa
The Lioness Hunt Lebo M Ensemble
I Just Can't Wait to Be King Elton John and Tim Rice Young Simba, Young Nala, Zazu and Ensemble
Chow Down Elton John and Tim Rice Shenzi, Banzai and Ed
They Live in You Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Lebo M Mufasa and Ensemble
Be Prepared Elton John and Tim Rice Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, Ed and Ensemble
The Stampede/Rafiki Mourns Hans Zimmer and Lebo M Ensemble and Rafiki, Ensemble
Hakuna Matata Elton John and Tim Rice Timon, Pumbaa, Young Simba, Simba and Ensemble

Act II
Song Written by Performed by Sample
One by One Lebo M Ensemble
The Madness of King Scar Elton John and Tim Rice Scar, Zazu, Banzai, Shenzi, Ed and Nala
Shadowland Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, and Mark Mancina Nala, Rafiki and Ensemble
Endless Night Julie Taymor, Lebo M, Hans Zimmer and Jay Rifkin Simba and Ensemble
Can You Feel the Love Tonight Elton John and Tim Rice Timon, Pumbaa, Simba, Nala and Ensemble
He Lives in You (Reprise) Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Lebo M Rafiki, Simba and Ensemble
Simba Confronts Scar Mark Mancina and Robert Elhai Instrumental
King of Pride Rock/Circle of Life (Reprise) Hans Zimmer and Lebo M/Elton John and Tim Rice Rafiki, Simba, Nala, Pumbaa, Timon, Zazu and Ensemble


*=cut from the show as of June 27, 2010

Musical adaptation

The musical incorporates several changes and additions to the storyline as compared to the film. The mandrill
Mandrill
The mandrill is a primate of the Old World monkey family, closely related to the baboons and even more closely to the drill. Both the mandrill and the drill were once classified as baboons in genus Papio, but recent research has determined they should be separated into their own genus, Mandrillus...

 Rafiki's gender was changed to a female role because Taymor believed that there was generally no leading female character in the film. Rafiki was portrayed by Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka is an actress, vocalist, and composer originally from South Africa and The Kingdom of Lesotho. She is best known for creating the role of Rafiki in the original Broadway production of Disney's stage musical, The Lion King.-Theatre:...

 in the original Broadway musical, and by Josette Bushell-Mingo
Josette Bushell-Mingo
Josette Bushell-Mingo is a Swedish-based British theatre actor and director of African descent. She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000 for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Rafiki in the London production of The Lion King . In 2001, she founded a black-led arts festival...

 in the original London production.

Several new scenes are present, including a conversation between Mufasa and Zazu about Mufasa's parenting and a perilous scene in which Timon finds himself nearly drowning in a waterfall while Simba feels powerless to help him. A major narrative addition is the depiction of Nala's departure in the scene "The Madness of King Scar," where the mentally deteriorating villain tries to make Nala his mate. Nala refuses and later announces her intention to depart the Pride Lands and find help. She receives the blessings of the lionesses and Rafiki during the new song "Shadowland."
Like its predecessor, the Beauty and the Beast musical
Beauty and the Beast (musical)
Beauty and the Beast is a musical with music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice and a book by Linda Woolverton, based on the 1991 Disney film of the same name. Seven new songs were written for the stage musical...

, the show adds more songs to its stage production, including Morning Report, sung by Zazu the hornbill and later added to the film for the Platinum Edition DVD release. "Shadowland," originally featured on the CD Rhythm of the Pride Lands
Rhythm of the Pride Lands
Rhythm of the Pride Lands is an audio CD released on February 28, 1995 by The Walt Disney Company, a "sequel" to the original motion picture soundtrack of the animated film The Lion King. The CD, was originally an independent project developed by Jay Rifkin and Lebo M and included songs and...

with Swahili lyrics as "Lea Halelela", was adapted for the musical with new English lyrics. It is sung by Nala, the lionesses, and Rafiki. "Endless Night", also from Rhythm of the Pride Lands with Swahili lyrics as "Lala" is sung by Simba while reflecting on Mufasa's promise to always be there. "One By One" from the Rhythm of the Pride Lands CD was adapted as the rousing African-styled Entre Act sung by the chorus at the opening of the second act.

Many of the animals portrayed in the production are actors in costume using extra tools to move their costumes. For example, the giraffes are portrayed by actors carefully walking on stilts. For principal characters such as Mufasa and Scar, the costumes feature mechanical headpieces that can be raised and lowered to foster the illusion of a cat "lunging" at another. Other characters, such as the hyenas, Zazu, Timon, and Pumbaa, are portrayed by actors in life-sized puppets or costumes. The Timon character is described by Taymor as one of the hardest roles to master because the movement of the puppet's head and arms puts a strain on the actor's arms, back, and neck.

Composer Lebo M
Lebo M
Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and...

 led the original Broadway chorus. The chorus members are usually visible in the production, rather than being hidden in the shadows as seen in some other musical shows.

A new section of the production, the Lioness Hunt, features a particularly complicated dance sequence for the actresses, and the dance is made even more difficult by the large headpieces worn during the scene.

During the show's run in China, Chinese elements were included in the musical. One of the songs was adapted to a well-known Chinese pop song, "Laoshu ai dami" or "Mice Love Rice". The cast even cracked jokes and attempted conversations with the audience in Chinese.

As of June 27, 2010, nine minutes of the Broadway version were cut, among them, the entire "Morning Report" musical number.

Original Broadway cast

Actor Role
Jason Raize
Jason Raize
Jason Raize was an American actor, singer and former Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Environment Programme...

 
Simba
John Vickery
John Vickery
John Estill Vickery is an American stage and film actor known for his work in Babylon 5 and Star Trek. Vickery grew up in Oakland, California. He attended the University of California at Davis, where he pursued a degree in mathematics...

 
Scar
Samuel E. Wright
Samuel E. Wright
Samuel E. Wright is an American film and theater actor and singer who is best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid, for which he provided the main vocals to "Under the Sea", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He also voiced Kron in Disney's CGI film...

 
Mufasa
Heather Headley
Heather Headley
Heather Headley is a Trinidadian-American R&B and soul singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. She has won one Tony Award and one Grammy Award.-Personal life:...

 
Nala
Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka is an actress, vocalist, and composer originally from South Africa and The Kingdom of Lesotho. She is best known for creating the role of Rafiki in the original Broadway production of Disney's stage musical, The Lion King.-Theatre:...

 
Rafiki
Max Casella
Max Casella
Max Casella is an American actor. He is known for his roles on the television series The Sopranos, Doogie Howser, M.D., and as the voice of Daxter in the Jak and Daxter video game series.-Life and career:...

 
Timon
Tom Alan Robbins
Tom Alan Robbins
Tom Alan Robbins is an American actor. He recently returned to the role of Pumba in The Lion King, a role he originated at The Lion King's Broadway opening. Before returning to The Lion King, he appeared in the Broadway production of Is He Dead?, a comedy written by Mark Twain, as Hans von...

 
Pumbaa
Geoff Hoyle
Geoff Hoyle
Geoff Hoyle is a British performer who originated the role of Zazu in the Broadway theatre production of The Lion King. Hoyle has also performed in vaudeville shows, worked with Bill Irwin in "The Pickle Family Circus", performed with Cirque Du Soleil's Nouvelle Expérience, and performed with the...

 
Zazu
Tracy Nicole Chapman
Tracy Nicole Chapman
Tracy Nicole Chapman is an actress. She is probably best known for originating the role of Shenzi in the Broadway production of The Lion King. She also appeared in Caroline, or Change...

 
Shenzi
Stanley Wayne Mathis
Stanley Wayne Mathis
Stanley Wayne Mathis is an African American actor, singer, and dancer. He is probably best known for his portrayal of the character Schroeder in the 1999 revival of Clark Gesner's You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.-Career:...

 
Banzai
Kevin Cahoon
Kevin Cahoon
Kevin Cahoon is an American actor/singer/songwriter, born in Houston, Texas.-Child performer:Cahoon began his performing career at the age of 5 as 'The World's Youngest Rodeo Clown', performing throughout the Texas and Oklahoma Rodeo Circuits, including many consecutive seasons at The Houston...

 
Ed
Gina Breedlove
Gina Breedlove
Gina Breedlove is an American singer and stage actress. In 1997, she appeared as Sarabi in the Broadway production of The Lion King. She previously appeared in the 1987 Broadway musical Sophisticated Ladies, and contributed a song to the soundtrack of the 1997 Shaquille O'Neal film Steel.-External...

 
Sarabi
Scott Irby-Ranniar
Scott Irby-Ranniar
Scott Irby-Ranniar is an American actor and singer born in Harlem, New York. He is well known for originating the role of Young Simba in the Broadway production of The Lion King in 1997. He is a former member of the band Steel Train....

 
Young Simba
Kajuana Shuford  Young Nala

Original West End cast

Actor Role
Roger Wright  Simba
Luke Youngblood
Luke Youngblood
Luke Youngblood is a British actor, who is best known for playing Ben in The Story of Tracy Beaker and for originating the role of Young Simba in The Lion King in which he appeared in several London venues whilst playing the role...

 
Young Simba
Rob Edwards
Rob Edwards (actor)
Rob Edwards is a British actor.His television credits include: Doctor Who , An Englishman's Castle, Secret Army, The Fourth Arm, By the Sword Divided, The Practice, Casualty, A Touch of Frost, Dangerfield, Midsomer Murders and Dalziel and Pascoe.He attended RGS...

 
Scar
Cornell John  Mufasa
Paulette Ivory  Nala
Pippa Bennett-Warner/Nathalie Emmanuel
Nathalie Emmanuel
Nathalie Joanne Emmanuel is a British actress best known for her role in the Channel 4 soap Hollyoaks as Sasha Valentine, which she played from 2006 to 2010....

/Dominique Moore
Dominique Moore
Dominique Moore is a British actress best known for playing Chanel O'Grady in the ITV2 television drama Footballers' Wives: Extra Time.Dominique is a former pupil of Sylvia Young Theatre School. The BBC fly-on-the-wall documentary series Paddington Green followed her as she tried to win a...

 
Young Nala
Josette Bushell-Mingo
Josette Bushell-Mingo
Josette Bushell-Mingo is a Swedish-based British theatre actor and director of African descent. She was nominated for a Laurence Olivier Award in 2000 for Best Actress in a Musical for her role as Rafiki in the London production of The Lion King . In 2001, she founded a black-led arts festival...

 
Rafiki
Simon Gregor  Timon
Martyn Ellis  Pumbaa
Gregory Gudgeon  Zazu
Dawn Michael  Sarabi
Stephanie Charles  Shenzi
Paul J. Medford
Paul J. Medford
Paul J. Medford is a British actor and performer of Barbadian descent. He is best known for playing the role of Kelvin Carpenter in the BBC soap opera EastEnders from the show's inception in 1985 to 1987...

 
Banzai
Christopher Holt  Ed

Recordings

Various international cast recordings are available on CD, including:
  • 1997 Broadway Cast
  • 1999 Japanese Cast
  • 2002 Hamburg Cast
  • 2004 Netherlands Cast
  • 2007 French Cast
  • 2007 South African Cast (Live performance audio CD)


Note: A recording, entitled "The Lion King" by the London Theatre Orchestra and Singers, was released on November 14, 2000 (D-3 Entertainment, ASIN: B00004ZDR6). This is not the London original cast recording.

Original Broadway Cast Recording

The Lion King [Original Broadway Cast Recording] is a cast recording
Cast recording
A cast recording is a recording of a musical that is intended to document the songs as they were performed in the show and experienced by the audience. An original cast recording, as the name implies, features the voices of the show's original cast...

 released on 1997 by The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company
The Walt Disney Company is the largest media conglomerate in the world in terms of revenue. Founded on October 16, 1923, by Walt and Roy Disney as the Disney Brothers Cartoon Studio, Walt Disney Productions established itself as a leader in the American animation industry before diversifying into...

, a recording of the songs as heard in the stage musical. Most of the tracks were composed by African composer Lebo M
Lebo M
Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and...

 and focused primarily on the African influences of the film's original music, with most songs being sung either partially or entirely in various African languages.
  1. Nants' Ingonyama/Circle of Life
    Circle of Life
    The song was re-recorded in 2003 by the Disney Channel Circle of Stars, a group of actors and actresses who have appeared in Disney Channel television series and original movies...

     - Opening
  2. Grasslands Chant
  3. The Morning Report
  4. The Lioness Hunt
  5. I Just Can't Wait to Be King
    I Just Can't Wait to Be King
    "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" is a stylistic musical number from Disney's popular 1994 animated film, The Lion King."I Just Can't Wait to Be King" is a large contrast from the film's non-musical segments, as emphasized by the number's usage of lively colors and sounds...

  6. Chow Down
  7. They Live in You
  8. Be Prepared
  9. The Stampede!
  10. Rafiki Mourns
  11. Hakuna Matata
    Hakuna Matata (song)
    "Hakuna Matata" is a song from Disney's 32nd animated feature Timon & Pumbaa. The song is based on Timon and Pumbaa's common catchphrase in the movie, Hakuna matata, which is a Swahili phrase. It is characterized by its simple 4/4 time, upbeat message and catchy lyrics.-Music:The musical score was...

  12. One by One
  13. The Madness of King Scar
  14. Shadowland
  15. Endless Nights
  16. The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    The Lion Sleeps Tonight
    "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", also known as "Wimoweh" and originally as "Mbube", is a song recorded by Solomon Linda and his group The Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939. It was covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including The Weavers,...

  17. Can You Feel the Love Tonight?
  18. He Lives in You
    He Lives in You
    "He Lives in You" is a song written and performed by Lebo M and his South African Choir for the CD Rhythm of the Pride Lands. A shorter version of the song was used in the opening of The Lion King II. This song was co-written by Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin...

     (Reprise)
  19. Timone Hula/Simba
    Simba
    Simba is a lion character and the protagonist of Disney's most successful animated feature film, The Lion King. He is the son of Mufasa and Sarabi, nephew of Scar, mate of Nala, and father of Kiara. He has golden fur and when he grows into an adult, he has an auburn mane...

     Confronts Scar
  20. King of Pride Rock/Circle of Life (Reprise) - Ending


Note: The songs Grasslands Chant, The Lioness Hunt, Chow Down, They Live in You, Rafiki Mourns, One by One (present in The Lion King), The Madness of King Scar, Shadowland (present at The Lion King), Endless Night and Simba Confronts Scar are newest classics.

Original Broadway production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1998 Drama Desk Award
Drama Desk Award
The Drama Desk Awards, which are given annually in a number of categories, are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway compete against each other in the same category...

Outstanding Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical was first awarded at the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since. Before the 21st Drama Desk Awards, acting awards were given without making distinctions between roles in straight dramas as opposed to musicals, nor were there...

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical was first awarded at the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has been awarded every year since...

Max Casella
Max Casella
Max Casella is an American actor. He is known for his roles on the television series The Sopranos, Doogie Howser, M.D., and as the voice of Daxter in the Jak and Daxter video game series.-Life and career:...

Geoff Hoyle
Geoff Hoyle
Geoff Hoyle is a British performer who originated the role of Zazu in the Broadway theatre production of The Lion King. Hoyle has also performed in vaudeville shows, worked with Bill Irwin in "The Pickle Family Circus", performed with Cirque Du Soleil's Nouvelle Expérience, and performed with the...

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical was first awarded in the 1974-1975 Drama Desk Awards and has subsequently been awarded every year. In the 1993-1994 Drama Desk Awards the award was given under the name of Outstanding Supporting Actress - Musical...

Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka is an actress, vocalist, and composer originally from South Africa and The Kingdom of Lesotho. She is best known for creating the role of Rafiki in the original Broadway production of Disney's stage musical, The Lion King.-Theatre:...

Outstanding Director
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director
This is a list of winners of the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Director introduced in 1955 to honour directors of plays and directors of musicals. From 1968, multiple awards were presented for each season...

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

Outstanding Choreography
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Choreography
-1970s:* 1970: Ron Field – Applause** No nominees* 1971: Michael Bennett – Follies and Donald Saddler – No, No, Nanette** No nominees* 1972: Patricia Birch – Grease and Jean Erdman – Two Gentlemen of Verona...

Garth Fagan
Garth Fagan
Gawain Garth Fagan, CD is a Jamaican modern dance choreographer. He is the founder and artistic director of Garth Fagan Dance, a modern dance company based in Rochester, New York.-Early years:...

Outstanding Orchestrations
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Orchestrations is presented by the Drama Desk, a committee of New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors...

Robert Elhai, David Metzger, and Bruce Fowler
Bruce Fowler
Bruce Lambourne Fowler is a prominent American trombone player and composer. He notably played trombone on many Frank Zappa records, as well as with Captain Beefheart, and in the Fowler Brothers Band...

Outstanding Set Design
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design is presented by the Drama Desk, a committee composed of New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors...

Richard Hudson
Richard Hudson
Richard “Dick” Hudson is a British linguist. He has lived in England for most of his life . He turned into a linguist via Loughborough Grammar School in Leicestershire , Corpus Christi College, Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies...

Outstanding Costume Design
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design is presented by the Drama Desk, a committee of New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors...

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

Outstanding Lighting Design
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design is presented by the Drama Desk, a committee of New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors...

Donald Holder
Donald Holder
Donald Holder is an American lighting designer in theatre, opera, and dance based in New York. He has been nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning the 1998 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for The Lion King. He won a second Tony in...

Outstanding Sound Design
Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design
The Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Sound Design is presented by the Drama Desk, a committee of New York City theatre critics, writers, and editors. It honors the sound designers of productions staged on Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway, and for legitimate not-for-profit theaters, all...

Tony Meola
Tony Meola
Antonio Michael "Tony" Meola is an American former soccer goalkeeper who played for the United States national team at the 1990 and 1994 World Cups, and from 1996 to 2006 played in Major League Soccer, the U.S. top soccer division, where he obtained multiple honors...

Outstanding Puppet Design
Drama Desk Award
The Drama Desk Awards, which are given annually in a number of categories, are the only major New York theater honors for which productions on Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway compete against each other in the same category...

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

 and Michael Curry
Michael Curry
Michael Edward Curry is the associate head coach of the NBA's Philadelphia 76ers. He previously served as head coach of the Detroit Pistons...

Theatre World Award
Theatre World Award
The Theatre World Award, first awarded for the 1945-46 season, is an American honor presented annually to actors and actresses in recognition of an outstanding New York City stage debut performance, either on Broadway or off-Broadway.-History:...

Max Casella
Max Casella
Max Casella is an American actor. He is known for his roles on the television series The Sopranos, Doogie Howser, M.D., and as the voice of Daxter in the Jak and Daxter video game series.-Life and career:...

Tony Award
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

Best Musical
Tony Award for Best Musical
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Musical, first awarded in 1949. This award is presented to the producers of the musical.-1940s:* 1949: Kiss Me, Kate – Music and lyrics by Cole Porter, book by Samuel and Bella Spewack...

Best Book of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical
The Tony Award for Best Book of a Musical is awarded to librettists of the spoken, non-sung dialogue, and storyline of a musical play. Eligibility is restricted to works with original narrative framework; plotless revues and revivals are ineligible...

Roger Allers
Roger Allers
Roger Allers is an Oscar-nominated American film director, screenwriter, storyboard artist, animator and Tony-nominated playwright...

 and Irene Mecchi
Irene Mecchi
Irene Mecchi is an American writer for television, movies, newspapers, and Broadway. Originally from San Francisco, she started her work with Disney in March 1992, when she wrote Recycle Rex, an animated short film which won the 1994 Environmental Media Award...

Best Original Score
Tony Award for Best Original Score
The Tony Award for Best Original Score is the Tony Award given to the composers and lyricists of the best original score written for a musical in that year. The score consists of music and lyrics...

Elton John
Elton John
Sir Elton Hercules John, CBE, Hon DMus is an English rock singer-songwriter, composer, pianist and occasional actor...

, Tim Rice
Tim Rice
Sir Timothy Miles Bindon "Tim" Rice is an British lyricist and author.An Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning lyricist, Rice is best known for his collaborations with Andrew Lloyd Webber, with whom he wrote Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus...

, Hans Zimmer
Hans Zimmer
Hans Florian Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 100 films, including critically acclaimed film scores for The Lion King , Crimson Tide , The Thin Red Line , Gladiator , The Dark Knight and Inception .Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the...

, Lebo M
Lebo M
Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake, known professionally as Lebo M, is a South African composer most famous for arranging and performing music for the Lion King movies and stage productions. He was recommended to Disney by Hans Zimmer, the score composer of The Lion King, and was later hired to form and...

, Mark Mancina
Mark Mancina
Mark Alan Mancina is a U.S. composer, primarily for Hollywood soundtracks, such as his collaboration with Trevor Rabin on the soundtrack for Con Air. He arranged many of the songs behind Disney's The Lion King including the Broadway musical...

, Jay Rifkin
Jay Rifkin
Jay Rifkin is a music and film producer.Rifkin created the company Media Ventures with Hans Zimmer, a childhood friend, whom he partnered with to produce and compose with. Media Ventures is a diverse entertainment group that includes music, new media, film and television...

 and Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical
This is a list of the winners and nominations of Tony Award for the Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical. The award has been presented since 1947...

Samuel E. Wright
Samuel E. Wright
Samuel E. Wright is an American film and theater actor and singer who is best known as the voice of Sebastian in Disney's The Little Mermaid, for which he provided the main vocals to "Under the Sea", which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. He also voiced Kron in Disney's CGI film...

Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
Tony Award for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical
This is a list of the winners and nominations of the Tony Award for the Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical. The award, introduced in 1950, was previously named as Best Performance by a Featured or Supporting Actress in a Musical until 1976....

Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka
Tsidii Le Loka is an actress, vocalist, and composer originally from South Africa and The Kingdom of Lesotho. She is best known for creating the role of Rafiki in the original Broadway production of Disney's stage musical, The Lion King.-Theatre:...

Best Direction of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical
This is a list of winners and nominations for the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical. Prior to 1960, category for direction included plays and musicals.-1950s:Note: this category was for both dramatic and musical productions...

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

Best Choreography
Tony Award for Best Choreography
-1940s:* 1947: Agnes de Mille – Brigadoon / Michael Kidd – Finian's Rainbow* 1948: Jerome Robbins – High Button Shoes* 1949: Gower Champion – Lend An Ear-1950s:* 1950: Helen Tamiris – Touch and Go* 1951: Michael Kidd – Guys and Dolls...

Garth Fagan
Garth Fagan
Gawain Garth Fagan, CD is a Jamaican modern dance choreographer. He is the founder and artistic director of Garth Fagan Dance, a modern dance company based in Rochester, New York.-Early years:...

Best Orchestrations
Tony Award for Best Orchestrations
-1990s:1997*Jonathan Tunick – Titanic**Michael Gibson - Steel Pier**Luther Henderson - Play On!**Don Sebesky and Harold Wheeler - The Life1998*William David Brohn – Ragtime**Robert Elhai, David Metzger and Bruce Fowler - The Lion King...

Robert Elhai, David Metzger and Bruce Fowler
Bruce Fowler
Bruce Lambourne Fowler is a prominent American trombone player and composer. He notably played trombone on many Frank Zappa records, as well as with Captain Beefheart, and in the Fowler Brothers Band...

Best Scenic Design for a Musical Richard Hudson
Richard Hudson (stage designer)
Richard Hudson is a Zimbabwean stage designer best known for his work for The Lion King, which won him the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design....

Best Costume Design for a Musical
Tony Award for Best Costume Design
These are the winners and nominees for the Tony Award for Best Costume Design. The award was first presented in 1947 and included both plays and musicals...

Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

 and Michael Curry
Michael Curry (puppet designer)
Michael Curry is an American production designer who lives in Portland, Oregon. He is also the owner and President of Michael Curry Design Inc...

Best Lighting Design of a Musical
Tony Award for Best Lighting Design
This is a list of the winners of the Tony Award for Best Lighting Design in a play or musical, first presented in 1970. In 2005 the category was divided with each genre represented separately.-1970s:* 1970: Jo Mielziner – Child's Play...

Donald Holder
Donald Holder
Donald Holder is an American lighting designer in theatre, opera, and dance based in New York. He has been nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning the 1998 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for The Lion King. He won a second Tony in...


Original London production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
1999 Laurence Olivier Award Best New Musical
Best Theatre Choreographer Garth Fagan
Garth Fagan
Gawain Garth Fagan, CD is a Jamaican modern dance choreographer. He is the founder and artistic director of Garth Fagan Dance, a modern dance company based in Rochester, New York.-Early years:...

Best Costume Design Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...


Original France production

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result
2008 Molière Award
Molière Award
The Molière Award is the national theatre award of France decided by the Association professionnelle et artistique du théâtre and given out every April or May since 1987, during a ceremony called La Nuit des Molières . The award was created by Georges Cravenne, who was also the creator of the...

Best Musical
Best Costumes Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor
Julie Taymor is an American director of theater, opera and film. Taymor's work has received many accolades from critics, and she has earned two Tony Awards out of four nominations, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Costume Design, an Emmy Award and an Academy Award nomination for Original Song...

Best Lighting Design Donald Holder
Donald Holder
Donald Holder is an American lighting designer in theatre, opera, and dance based in New York. He has been nominated for eight Tony Awards, winning the 1998 Tony Award for Best Lighting Design as well as the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for The Lion King. He won a second Tony in...


External links

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