The Lion King Tickets
Disney’s musical, The Lion King is not just one of the best Broadway shows; it is a smash hit world over. The landmark musical has been running in theaters for over two decades now and audiences still can’t get enough of it.
What is it that makes this musical so endearing to all that even after so many years it still hasn’t lost its charm? Several aspects combine to bring together such a musical whose appeal transcends generations and boundaries. Such is its craze that it is still ruling in theaters, making one of the hottest tickets in town.
Having won a staggering number of awards and accolades, it is regarded as one the leading musicals in Broadway history. It has half a dozen Tony Awards to its name.
From Screen to Stage
It was after The Lion King movie’s amazing success in 1994 that the talks for a Broadway version began. When the idea of a Broadway show was first presented to Thomas Schumacher, producer of the musical, he refused and thought that it wouldn’t work as there was nothing theatrical about it.
There were a lot of apprehensions initially, particularly related to the show’s director Julie Taymor, who was not very well-known at the time. She had a strong background in Puppet Theater which she intended to use for The Lion King musical. She herself wasn’t so keen to begin with this project but destiny had other plans.
The Broadway premiere of The Lion King musical witnessed packed theater houses and rave reviews poured in. The musical went on to break Broadway records and in 1998 won six Tony Awards and eight Drama Desk Awards.
King of Broadway and Pride of Disney
The Lion King became Disney’s Pride when the all-time-favorite animated classic came to life on stage and became as big as the movie.
Soon it dethroned “The Phantom of the Opera” from the top of the list of all-time Broadway box office hits, becoming the new king. In 2014, The Lion King musical grossed over $6.2 billion worldwide and set a new record for the most successful box office total achieved by any work in any media in entertainment history.
Thomas Schumacher, president and producer at Disney Theatrical Productions, quite content with the show’s roaring success stated,
“Naturally we’re humbled by this milestone.” He added,
“It’s difficult not to become emotional at this realization of the show’s impact.”
“Our goal then was to tell the story purely and theatrically so that audiences could feel it in their heart,” he said. “And, to this day, that is the audience experience whether they see the show in Madrid; Appleton, Wisconsin; South Africa; Tokyo or Broadway. Of that, we are deeply proud.”
The Lion King’s Universal Appeal
Tony Award winning director, Julie Taymor’s story of hope and adventure has delighted children as well as the adults,giving fans a monumental theatrical experience. As is the case with most of the Disney movies, The Lion King was an inspiration from an old piece of work. This tale was based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet and who would have thought it would become a kid’s favorite. The success of The Lion King proves that children can appreciate heavier topics as well, provided they are presented in an attractive way.
The Lion King‘s adaptation also showed that animated movies and their stage versions have an equal appeal for the adults.
As Lion King’s Technical Director, David Benken says that the show “really opened up a lot of people’s eyes as a different way to treat material.”
People saw that animated movies that were first targeted towards kids could have a bigger audience if treated differently. It influenced theatrical storytelling giving it a new direction to follow. The Lion King proved to be a family-friendly musical in an age where there are not many on the list.
From Movie to Musical – The Similarities and Changes
A group of talented creative minds came together to give the fans one of the most breathtaking productions to have graced the stage in a long time. Premiering in 1997, The Lion King is still running successfully on Broadway. The musical in some parts is like the movie and in others totally different.
Julie Taymor adapted the musical from Disney’s 1994 animated film of the same name and decided to stick to the main plot of the movie. The musical remains the same in terms of storyline with just a few changes. In the Broadway version, the character of Rafiki has been changed to a female one and given a larger role. Julie Taymor felt the story needed strong female characters.
She used giant masks to make the characters but did not hide the faces of the actors because she felt that facial expressions were important. The blend of puppetry and masks turned out to be the most appreciated element of the musical adaptation, giving The Lion King a distinct feel.
Another change is the addition of music and some new songs. A few extra scenes were also added to help develop the characters. The unique design and stunning backdrops make it one of the most inventive and ambitious musicals ever staged.
Heart Wrenching Story
The touching story of Simba and his journey to take his father’s position and rule over Pride Rock story is very well-balanced with humor and emotional drama. A simple plot and the family-friendly themes contribute to its longevity. Subjects like life, death, loss, redemption and finding one’s place in a society have been dealt with very sensitively.
The musical follows the young cub prince Simba’s journey from his carefree days to the time when he becomes the king of Pride Rock. Simba is born into a royal family. Basking in the love showered on him by his parents, Simba spends his time idolizing his father. A tragic turn of events brings an end to the life he knows. His devious uncle Scar plots against him and kills his father and Simba is made to feel responsible for his father’s death. Young Simba who feels guilty and ashamed, is unable to confront the situation and he flees to live in exile.
His friends Timon and Pumbaa, his mentor Rafiki and his love interest Nala stand beside him and urge him to return and claim his rightful place as the King of the Jungle. What ensues is a personal battle that gives Simba the courage to reclaim his throne and fulfill his destiny to be the King of Pride Rock.
It is an exciting tale that is loved by whoever watches it. Innocence of the little Simba and how he matures after hardships, eventually realizing the responsibilities of leadership, endears him to the audience.
These are the struggles that everyone can relate to. The lessons taught through the musical have a very strong impact thus parents find themselves encouraging their children to watch it. This is another reason why The Lion King tickets are still in demand because a new generation is jumping at the chance to see the phenomenal musical.
The cherry on the cake is the award winning music crafted by the legend Elton John along with Tim Rice. Catchy songs like Hakuna Matata, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, and The Circle of Life are still popular and loved by many. The unforgettable music score played a big part in the musical’s success and its enduring power. The six indigenous African languages sung and spoken throughout the musical together with the choreography and costumes give it a distinctive African style.
A Feast for the Senses
Enhancing the strong storyline is the mirage of colors, the kaleidoscopic visual splendor and the incredibly inventive costumes that make it an artistic triumph. Set against the amazing backdrops, featuring the all-time favorite characters from the movie, and the awe-inspiring visual artistry makes The Lion King a visual enchantment. The stunning procession of life-sized moving animal puppets, the widely lauded masks, fusion of African rhythms along with the western popular music is a delight for the senses.
The Lion King has many side characters, and each of them is widely loved. Having so many plus points, it is not hard to believe that The Lion King became the phenomenon it is today. Having watched it once simply isn’t enough, it has such a hook. So if you want to watch this jaw dropping show for the first or the tenth time you still have the chance as it is busy touring and The Lion King Broadway tickets are still available.
Julie Taymor’s award-winning musical has earned glowing reviews from some of the leading publications.
Time Magazine declares it a “gasp-inducing spectacle”
The Daily Telegraph says that the musical is “a deeply felt celebration of life.”
New York Times stated, “There is simply nothing else like it.”
All these exciting facts make The Lion King musical a show worth watching. You would not want to miss The Lion King tickets, get them to see this one-of-a kind theatrical that continues to create a buzz among the critics and audiences alike.
Some Interesting Lion King Facts
The Lion King is among the top ten in the list of one of the longest running shows in Broadway history.
When Julie Taymor was contacted by a Disney executive for the making of The Lion King she did not want to be a part of it.
A friend of Taymor had predicted that directing The Lion King would change her life which turned out to be true.
Julie Taymor has the honor of being the first woman in Broadway history to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.
Initially in the movie version the song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" was left out. After Elton John's insistence it was put back in.
"Can You Feel the Love Tonight" received an Academy Award for the Best Original Song.
Since its Broadway premiere in 1997, over 85 million people worldwide have seen the show and the number is continuously growing.
It took the costume designers 37,000 hours to create the unique puppets and masks for the musical production
It has won 70 major theater awards including Tony Awards for both the "Best Musical" and "Best Director".
The show has earned more than $6 billion, more money than any musical in history.
The Lion King has toured around the world, playing in over fourteen different countries across five different continents.