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The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical.

The musical debuted July 8, 1997, in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Orpheum Theatre, and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway 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 to make way for the musical version of Mary Poppins, where it is still running after more than 5,350 performances. It is now Broadway's third longest-running show in history. As of April 2012, it is the highest grossing Broadway show of all time, having grossed $1,091,440,972..

The show debuted in the West End'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 2008 at the London Palladium on December 11, in the presence of senior members of the British Royal Family.

Background

Story

The story follows a young lion cub named Simba, born into royalty as heir to his father, Mufasa's, throne. Mufasa's evil brother, Scar, desires power over the kingdom and conspired with a legion of hyenas to kill Mufasa and Simba, and take over the land in their place. While Mufasa is murdered, Simba survives the attack and is blamed, by Scar, for his father's demise. Exiled, Simba must regain his courage and face the difficulties of his past to defeat Scar and reclaim his role in the Circle of Life.

Production

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.

Cast

Production Simba Nala Scar Mufasa Rafiki Timon Pumbaa Zazu Shenzi Banzai Ed Sarabi Young Simba Young Nala
Original Broadway cast Jason Raize Heather Headley John Vickery Samuel E. Wright Tsidii Le Loka Max Casella Tom Alan Robbins Geoff Hoyle Tracy Nicole Chapman Stanley Wayne Mathis Kevin Cahoon Gina Breedlove Scott Irby-Ranniar Kajuana Shuford
Original West End cast Roger Wright Paulette Ivory Rob Edwards Cornell John Josette Bushell-Mingo Simon Gregor Martyn Ellis Gregory Gudgeon Stephanie Charles Paul J. Medford Christopher Holt Dawn Michael Luke Youngblood Pippa Bennett-Warner/Nathalie Emmanuel/Dominique Moore

Variations from the 1994 film

Characters

  • Rafiki's gender was changed to a female role because Taymor believed that there was generally no leading female character in the film.
  • 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."

Plot points

  • A conversation between Mufasa and Zazu about Mufasa's parenting was added.
  • A perilous scene in which Timon finds himself nearly drowning in a waterfall while Simba feels powerless to help him.
  • While the film has several pop-culture references, the musical takes a broader approach by breaking the fourth wall several times; this is most prominent with the character of Zazu.
  • In the film, when Timon and Pumbaa distract the hyenas, Timon dances the hula. In the musical, he dances the Charleston.

Broadway

Act I

  1. "Nants' Ingonyama"/"Circle of Life" - Rafiki and Ensemble
  2. "Grasslands Chant" - Lebo M, Ensemble
  3. "The Morning Report" - Zazu, Young Simba and Mufasa
  4. "The Lioness Hunt" - Lebo M, Ensemble
  5. "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" - Young Simba, Young Nala, Zazu and Ensemble
  6. "Chow Down" - Shenzi, Banzai and Ed
  7. "They Live in You" - Mufasa and Ensemble
  8. "Be Prepared" - Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, Ed and Ensemble
  9. "The Stampede!"/"Rafiki Mourns" - Ensemble and Rafiki, Ensemble
  10. "Hakuna Matata" - Timon, Pumbaa and Simba

Act II

  1. "One by One" - Lebo M, Ensemble
  2. "The Madness of King Scar" - Scar, Shenzi, Banzai, Ed, Zazu and Nala
  3. "Shadowland" - Nala, Rafiki and Ensemble
  4. "Endless Night" - Simba and Ensemble
  5. "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" -
  6. "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" - Timon, Pumbaa, Simba, Nala and Ensemble
  7. "He Lives in You" (Reprise) - Rafiki, Simba and Ensemble
  8. "Timon Hula"/"Simba Confronts Scar" - Instrumental
  9. "King of Pride Rock"/"Circle of Life" (Reprise) - Rafiki, Simba, Nala, Pumbaa, Timon, Zazu and Ensemble

Gallery

Trivia

  • Like its predecessor, the Beauty and the Beast 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 with Zulu 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.
  • 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 (these cuts also affect the US National Touring productions):
  • Composer Lebo M 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.

References


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Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightMickey's Storybook ExpressThe Lion King (musical)

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Media
Films: The Lion KingThe Lion King II: Simba's PrideThe Lion King 1½The Lion Guard: Return of the RoarVideoThe Lion King (2019 film)

Television: Timon & PumbaaTimon and Pumbaa's Wild About SafetyThe Lion Guard
Soundtracks: SoundtrackRhythm of the Pride LandsThe Legacy CollectionThe Lion King CollectionReturn to Pride Rock: Songs Inspired by Disney's The Lion King II: Simba's PrideBest of the Lion KingThe Lion King 1½: Songs from Timon and Pumbaa's Hilarious AdventureOriginal Broadway Cast RecordingThe Lion Guard
Video Games: The Lion KingTimon and Pumbaa's Jungle GamesThe Lion King: Simba's Mighty AdventureKingdom Hearts IIAnimated Storybook: The Lion KingDisney UniverseDisney INFINITY: 2.0 EditionAdventures in Typing with Timon and PumbaaActivity CenterThe Lion King 2: Simba's Pride: Active PlayThe Lion King 2: Simba's Pride GameBrackThe Lion King 1½Disney Crossy Road
Books: Classic StorybookDisney's Wonderful World of ReadingGolden Sight 'n' Sound BookLittle Golden BookMarvel ComicsThe Art of the Lion KingSimba and the Lost WaterfallMorning at Pride RockSimba and Nala Help BomoThe Bright StarSimba and the Big FloodSimba the Fortune TellerThe Pal PatrolSimba's Hide and SeekFar from the Pride LandsSimba's Daring RescuePumbaa Runs Away from HomeNo Worries: A New Story About SimbaHow Simba Met Timon and PumbaaWay to Go, Simba!The Lion King 1½

Disney Parks
Rafiki's Planet WatchDisney's Art of Animation ResortDisney's Explorers LodgeCircle of Life: An Environmental FableDisney Animation BuildingIt's a Small WorldMickey's PhilharMagicRhythm of the JungleSorcerers of the Magic KingdomStitch and Friends Summer SurpriseThe Enchanted Tiki Room (Under New Management)The Lion Guard Adventure

Entertainment: AnimagiqueAnimazment - The MusicalDisney's BelieveDisney's Dreams: An Enchanted ClassicDisney's WishesDisney Classics: The Music & The MagicFantasmic!Feel the MagicFestival of the Lion KingIt's Party Time... with Mickey and FriendsMickey's Gift of DreamsMickey and the MagicianThe Golden MickeysThe Legend of the Lion KingVillains Tonight!
Restaurants: Restaurant Hakuna Matata
Parade: Disney's Magical Moments ParadeDisney Cinema ParadeDisney Magic on ParadeDisney Stars on ParadeFlights of Fantasy ParadeJubilation!Mickey's Soundsational ParadeThe Lion King CelebrationThe Wonderful World of Disney ParadeWalt Disney's Parade of Dreams
Firework: Celebrate the MagicDisney Dreams!Disneyland ForeverHappily Ever AfterIgnite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightTree of Life AwakensWorld of Color
Halloween: Happy Hallowishes

Characters
The Lion King: SimbaNalaMufasaScarRafikiTimonPumbaaZazuShenzi, Banzai and EdSarabiSarafinaThe PridelandersHyena ClanWildebeestsCape BuffaloGopher

The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: KiaraKovuZiraVitaniNukaOutsidersCrocodiles
The Lion King 1½: MaUncle MaxIron JoeMeerkat Colony
Timon and Pumbaa: The Native ChiefThe Three NativesMontyBaampuNobiFredPantherQuintThe WoodpeckerBruceStinkyRalph and EddieTedsSavage LionBartholomewThe TarsierToucan DanVulture PoliceNedRabbitUncle BoarisUncle ErnieBoss BeaverBoy BeaverLester the WhaleThe TigressJackalThe CobraSpeedy the SnailSmolder the BearLittle JimmyIrwinEl ToroCount DownMr. PigWolverineJumbo Jumbo the ElephantCheetato and CheetataMartin PardonRita BookChef ClaudeCaptain BloodbeardCisco PigCisco Pig's GangDr. CaliostroTorgoThe Meerkat AngelPumbaa Jr.NefuDr. HappyLeslie LambeauMr. ButtonsSharlaHermanLaraMelClaudiusBahukaTutan PharaohGenieMadame CredenzaDuke MeerkatTatianaMother EagleBaby EarlKing LeopoldPrincess ClaudiaSigmund and LloydHeinrich and SchnitzelMad Dog McGraw, Billy the Goat, and Three-fingered JackelopeDr. ExceterSal MandersJungle InspectorPimon and Tumbaa
The Lion Guard: KionBungaFuliBeshteOnoTiifuZuriJanjaCheeziChunguJanja's ClanMzingoMzingo's ParliamentMwogaMakuuMakuu's FloatPuaBasiBasi's PodUshariJasiriMadoaTunu and WemaThurstonMbeyaMbuniMa TemboAminifuReireiGoigoiDogoDogo's BrothersKijanaReirei's PackTwigaJuhudiShingoMuhanga and MuhangusTamaaNala's FatherSwalaMuhimuHamuAjabuMakuchaMjombaOgpoaHayaLainiBadiliMapiganoMtotoGumbaKambuniKwatoShaukuNneTanoVuruga VurugaYoung RhinoLionessMajinuni and HafifuKing SokweJasiri's ClanHadithiBupuBobokaChuraKifaruMwenziUrohoMwiziKulindaMpishiMakiniShupavuKiburiKiburi's Float
Printed Media: UruAhadiKopaPimbiBomaKulaZuzuJokaLulu
Deleted: DikuBaashoIggyHerr RhinoKwashiBhatiMheetuBanagiDaabiDwalaNaandaBintiLemutaTimon's FatherBuzzTesma

Episodes
Timon & Pumbaa

Season One: "Boara Boara" • "Saskatchewan Catch" • "Kenya Be My Friend?" • "Good Mousekeeping" • "Brazil Nuts" • "South Sea Sick/The Lion Sleeps Tonight" • "Never Everglades" • "Cooked Goose" • "Yukon Con" • "Doubt of Africa" • "How to Beat the High Costa Rica" • "Swiss Missed" • "Russia Hour" • "You Ghana Join the Club" • "Uganda Be an Elephant" • "To Kilimanjaro Bird" • "Rocky Mountain Lie" • "Amazon Quiver" • "French Fried" • "Big Top Breakfast" • "Madagascar About You" • "Truth or Zaire/Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" • "Mojave Desserted" • "Beauty and the Wildebeest" • "Don't Break the China" • "Can't Take a Yolk" • "Stand by Me" • "The Pain in Spain" • "Frantic Atlantic" • "Unlucky in Lesotho" • "Rafiki's Apprentice" • "Tanzania Zany" • "Guatemala Malarkey" • "Mombasa-In-Law" • "TV Dinner" • "Back Out in the Outback" • "Gabon with the Wind" • "Timon's Time Togo" • "The Law of the Jungle" • "Manhattan Mishap" • "Paraguay Parable" • "Be More Pacific" • "Going Uruguay" • "Let's Serengeti Out of Here" • "Congo on Like This" • "Okay Bayou?" • "Shake Your Djibouti" • "Yosemite Remedy" • "The Sky is Calling" • "Mozam-Beaked" • "Ocean Commotion"
Season Two: "Palm Beached" • "Jamaica Mistake?" • "Oregon Astray" • "New Guinea Pig" • "Isle of Manhood" • "Puttin' on the Brits" • "Klondike Con" • "Isle Find Out" • "Beetle Romania" • "Rumble in the Jungle" • "Wide Awake in Wonderland" • "Zazu's Off-by-One Day" • "Animal Barn" • "Roach Hotel" • "Africa-Dabra!" • "I Don't Bolivia" • "Shopping Mauled" • "Library Brouhaha" • "Catch Me if You Kenya" • "Scent of the South" • "Monster Massachusetts" • "Handle with Caribbean" • "Forbidden Pumbaa" • "Washington Applesauce" • "Alcatraz Mataz" • "Oahu Wahoo" • "I Think I Canada" • "Zazu's Off Day Off" • "Beast of Eden" • "Sense & Senegambia" • "Timon on the Range" • "The Man from J.U.N.G.L.E." • "Maine-Iacs" • "Fiji-Fi-Fo-Fum" • "Rome Alone" • "Amusement Bark" • "Once Upon a Timon" • "Home is Where the Hog Is" • "Beethoven's Whiff" • "Bumble in the Jungle" • "Mind Over Matterhorn"
Season Three: "Whiff" • "To Be Bee or Not to Be Bee" • "Luck Be a Meerkat" • "Just When You Thought You'd Cuisine it All" • "Lemonade Stand Off" • "Big Jungle Game" • "Boo Hoo Bouquet" • "So Sumo Me" • "Now Museum, Now You Don't" • "Visiting Pig-nitaries" • "The Truth About Kats and Hogs" • "Escape from Newark" • "Truth Be Told" • "Circus Jerks" • "Nest Best Thing" • "Super Hog-O" • "Don't Have the Vegas Idea" • "Hot Enough for Ya?" • "Werehog of London" • "Bigfoot, Littlebrain" • "Astro-Nots" • "Robin Hoodwinked" • "Seregenti Western" • "All Pets are Off" • "Two for the Zoo" • "The Swine in the Stone" • "You May Have Already Won Six Million Bakra" • "My Meteor, My Friend" • "Jungle Slickers" • "Don't Wake the Neighbear" • "Recipe for Disaster" • "Going Over-Boar'd" • "Ivy Beleaguered" • "Broadway Bound & Gagged" • "Steel Hog" • "Dealer's Choice Cut" • "Space Ham" • "You Bet Your Tukhus" • "No-Good Samaritan" • "Living in De Nile" • "One Tough Bug" • "Pirates of Pumbzance" • "Miss Perfect" • "Hakuna Matata U." • "Pig-Malion" • "Why No Rhino" • "War Hogs" • "The Big No Sleep" • "Common Scents" • "Mister Twister" • "Don't Be Elfish" • "Lights, Camera, Traction" • "The Running of the Bullies" • "Special Defects" • "Wishy Washy" • "Ice Escapades" • "Guru-Some" • "Jailhouse Shock" • "Nearly Departed" • "Early Bird Watchers" • "The Spy's the Limit" • "Ready, Aim, Fire" • "Timoncchio" • "Ghost Boosters" • "Stay Away from my Honey!" • "Sitting Pretty Awful" • "He's a Bad, Bad, Bad Sport" • "Dapper Duck Burgers" • "It Runs Good" • "Hot Air Buffoons" • "Timon in Love" • "Kahuna Potato" • "Mook Island" • "Cliphangers"

The Lion Guard
Season One: "Never Judge a Hyena by its Spots" • "The Rise of Makuu" • ""Bunga the Wise" • "Can't Wait to be Queen" • "Eye of the Beholder" • "The Kupatana Celebration" • "Fuli's New Family" • "The Search for Utamu" • "Follow That Hippo!" • "Call of the Drongo" • "Paintings and Predictions" • "The Mbali Fields Migration" • "Bunga and the King" • "The Imaginary Okapi" • "Too Many Termites" • "The Trouble With Galagos" • "Janja's New Crew" • "Baboons!" • "Beware the Zimwi" • "Lions of the Outlands" • "Never Roar Again" • "The Lost Gorillas" • "The Trail to Udugu" • "Ono's Idol" • "Beshte and the Hippo Lanes" • "Ono the Tickbird"
Season Two: "Babysitter Bunga" • "The Savannah Summit" • "The Traveling Baboon Show" • "Ono and the Egg" • "The Rise of Scar" • "Let Sleeping Crocs Lie" • "Swept Away" • "Rafiki's New Neighbors" • "Rescue in the Outlands" • "The Ukumbusho Tradition"

Locations
The Lion King Trilogy: AfricaThe Zuberi RiverMount KilimanjaroPride RockThe Pride LandsThe DesertThe Water HoleThe Elephant GraveyardThe GorgeJungleThe Great RiverRafiki's Ancient TreeThe Outlands

Timon and Pumbaa: Zazu's TreeMadame Credenza's PlaceSavage RockBoss Beaver's Log Land

Songs
The Lion King: Circle of LifeThe Morning ReportI Just Can't Wait to Be KingBe PreparedHakuna MatataCan You Feel the Love TonightHawaiian War Chant

Instrumental Scores: This LandHyenas...To Die ForUnder the StarsKing of Pride RockDidn't Your Mother Tell You Not to Play with Your FoodWe are All ConnectedHyenas in the Pride LandsElephant GraveyardI Was Just Trying to Be BraveStampedeMufasa DiesIf You Ever Come Back We'll Kill YouBowling for BuzzardsWe Gotta Bone to Pick With YouKings of the PastNala, is It Really You?Remember Who You AreThis is My HomeThe Rightful King
Rhthym of the Pride Lands: KubeLea HalalelaIt's TimeLalaBusaNoyana
The Lion King II: Simba's Pride: He Lives in YouWe Are OneMy LullabyUpendiOne of UsLove Will Find a Way
The Lion King 1½: Digga TunnahThat's All I NeedSunrise, SunsetGrazing in the Grass
Musical: Lioness HuntRafiki MournsOne by OneGrasslands ChantChow DownThe Madness of King ScarShadowlandEndless Night
Timon and Pumbaa: Alone TogetherStand by MeYummy, Yummy, YummyThe Lion Sleeps Tonight
The Lion Guard: Call of the GuardA Beautiful Day (Ni Siku Nzuri)Zuka ZamaTonight We StrikeKion's LamentIt is TimeHere Comes the Lion GuardWe're the Same (Sisi Ni Sawa)Don't Make a StinkBunga the WiseDuties of the KingOutta the WayJackal StyleOur Kupatana CommunityMy Own WayUtamuAll Hail The VulturesYour Hero InsideBird of a Thousand VoicesPanic and RunTrail to HopeLife in the Pride LandsWe'll Make You a MealFind Your RoarChungu's LamentBaboonsBeware of the ZimwiLions Over AllStand Up, Stand OutKuishi Ni KuchekaRunning with the KingHadithi the HeroMakin' Hippo LanesTickbirds and RhinosTeke Ruka TelezaEveryone is WelcomeThe Traveling Baboon ShowA Real MealThe Path of HonorBring Back a LegendI Have A Plan
Deleted: To Be KingWarthog RhapsodyThe Lion of the MoonOld Fearless BuzzThe Madness of King Scar

See Also
King of the JungleMusicalList of Species seen in The Lion King FranchiseRoar of the EldersThe Disney AfternoonFind Out WhyHouse of MouseOne by One