News & Info

Disney's The Lion King Plays Buell Theatre Nov 2 - Dec 4
By Amy Lindsey
Thursday, September 08, 2011

DENVER’S LIMITED RETURN ENGAGEMENT PLAYS
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 2 TO SUNDAY, DECEMBER 4
AT THE BUELL THEATRE

Denver, CO — Casting has been announced for the Denver return engagement of DISNEY’S THE LION KING.  Denver’s most eagerly awaited stage production will return to The Buell Theatre from Wednesday, November 2 to Sunday, December 4.  The press opening night is Friday, November 4 at 7:30pm.  This will be THE LION KING’s third time to play Denver.  The North American Tour launched in Denver in April 2002 where it played a sold-out 10-week engagement at The Buell Theatre.  The production returned to The Buell Theatre in September 2006 where it played a 7-week sold-out engagement. 

The sardonic and deviously cunning “Scar” is played by J. Anthony Crane.  Dionne Randolph is “Mufasa,” the great warrior and ruler of the Pridelands.  Buyi Zama is the wise baboon shaman “Rafiki.” Mark David Kaplan portrays the prim and proper hornbilled bird “Zazu.”  Ben Lipitz is the carefree warthog “Pumbaa” and Nick Cordileone is the wisecracking meerkat “Timon.”  Mufasa’s son, “Simba,” the lion prince born to be king, is played by Jelani Remy and Syndee Winters is the loyal lioness “Nala.” 

The three evil hyenas are played by Omari Tau (“Banzai”), Monica L. Patton (“Shenzi”) and Ben Roseberry (“Ed”).  The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Niles Fitch and Zavion J. Hill and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Sade Phillip-Demorcy and Kailah McFadden. 

In Denver, THE LION KING will play Tuesday through Friday evenings at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2:00pm and 7:30pm and Sundays at 1pm and 6:30pm. There will also be 2pm matinees on Thursday, November 3, Wednesday, November 23, Friday, November 25 and Wednesday, November 30.  There will be no performances on Thursday, November 24 in observance of Thanksgiving.  There will not be 6:30pm performances on Sunday, November 27 and Sunday, December 4.  Ticket prices start as low as $17.50. 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 Denver Center Ticket office located in the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex Lobby or by calling 303.893.4100.  TTY (for Deaf and hard-of-hearing patrons): 303.893.9582.  Tickets may also be purchased and printed online at www.denvercenter.org. Groups of 15 or more, please call 303.446.4829. 

The North American touring production of THE LION KING has been seen by over 13.2 million theatergoers and grossed over $867 million to date.  Having already played more than 60 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its return to Denver for its third engagement at The Buell Theatre.  The current schedule is listed below. 

ABOUT THE LION KING
Now in its 14th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, continuing to reign as a cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its 1997 Broadway premiere, 18 global productions have been seen by more than 60 million people, grossed over $4.6 billion to date and have cumulatively run 83 years.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only five productions in theatre history to play for ten years or more, both on Broadway and in the West End.  Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 14 different countries on five continents.  THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway (its flagship production), on stages across North America, and in Las Vegas, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Singapore and Sapporo.  In October, the first Spanish production will bow in Madrid.

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, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor.  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. 

On stage, Taymor’s creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters.  Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING.  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:  Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor).  Anne Quart serves as associate producer.

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.”

For more information worldwide, visit, LionKing.com    

Denver’s engagement of DISNEY’S THE LION KING is an added attraction on the Denver Center Attractions 2011 season, which is supported by United Airlines and Vectra Bank. Media sponsorship for DCA is provided by The Denver Post and CBS4.  The Denver Center for the Performing Arts is supported in part by the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.


  
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