Disney Theatrical Productions celebrates the announcement of two world premiere productions of THE LION KING at Shanghai Disney Resort and Mexico City, in partnership with Disney Parks and Resorts and OCESA, respectively. The announcement was made today by Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. The two productions will be the 23rd and 24th mounted around the world since the show's Broadway debut in 1997.
"It is especially exciting for us to premiere at the purpose-built theatre at the Shanghai Disney Resort, marking our first collaboration with our partners at Disney Parks and Resorts," said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. "This uniquely Chinese production will be our most ambitious yet, featuring the very best of local talent, who will perform the show for the first time in Mandarin as they bring Julie Taymor's singular theatrical vision to life."
"We are equally thrilled to bring THE LION KING to Mexico City with our partners at OCESA," Schumacher continues. "This entirely new production will be created especially for the glorious Telcel Theatre. I am proud to continue our long history presenting our productions in Mexico."
The premiere of THE LION KING's Mandarin-language production will be presented at Walt Disney Grand Theatre, a new world-class 1,200 seat Broadway-style theatre to be located in Shanghai Disney Resort's retail, dining and entertainment area, directly adjacent to the resort's Shanghai Disneyland park. Casting for the show is scheduled to begin this summer in China with a focus on recruiting and developing local talent. Shanghai Disney Resort has engaged United Asia Arts Entertainment to support the casting efforts.
In 2006, the Australian tour production of THE LION KING played Shanghai in English and became the longest running musical in the country's history, having played 101 sold out performances at Shanghai Grand Theatre.
THE LION KING's Spanish-language premiere in Mexico City will be produced by OCESA and will be the largest theatrical production ever to be mounted in Mexico. OCESA also produced successful productions of Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and most recently, The Disney and Cameron Mackintosh production of MARY POPPINS in 2012. The production will be performed in Spanish and will begin performances in May of 2015 at the Telcel Theatre in Mexico City.
In 2008, OCESA also presented The North American, English-language tour of THE LION KING in Mexico City. The four week hit engagement sold over 165,000 tickets at the Auditorio Nacional.
ABOUT THE LION KING
In its 17th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant; it is the highest-grossing Broadway show in New York history and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 70 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 106 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, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Australia and on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan. The Australian production marks the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show's history. To date, THE LION KING has played 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
Among the most successful titles in entertainment history, THE LION KING's more than $5 billion worldwide box office to date, exceeds that of any film or entertainment title in 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 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 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 around the world.
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.