DISNEY’S THE LION KING CELEBRATES
THIRD SMASH ENGAGEMENT IN HOUSTON
Houston – Disney’s THE LION KING is celebrating its third smash engagement in Houston, which concluded on Sunday, August 12 presented by Broadway Across America and the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. The triumphant five-week return grossed over $7.2 million at the box office and entertained more than 100,000 patrons during 40 performances. The award-winning musical first played an eight-week sold out premiere engagement in Houston in 2002 at Jones Hall, followed by a six-week sold-out return in 2006 at The Hobby Center.
It is estimated that the Houston engagement of THE LION KING generated a $25 million economic benefit to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based upon a Touring Broadway League report which found that, on average, Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.5 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area’s economy.
“Our theatre was built by our community entirely with private funds, in response to our city's commitment to the arts, and, specifically, in demonstrating Houston's commitment to having a first class venue designed specifically for the presentation of musical theatre,” said Fran Macferran, President of the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. “This outstanding third Houston engagement of The Lion King further proves that Houstonians not only support world class musical theatre, but that they demand it. I couldn't be more proud to have hosted this engagement.”
“It is sincerely gratifying to see that the response to this theatrical phenomenon is just as strong as when it first premiered in Houston 10 years ago,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. “We are also thrilled to play our first autism-friendly performance outside of New York City. Houston has earned a special place in the history of touring Broadway theatre and THE LION KING. We look forward to someday returning to this fantastic market.”
The North American touring production of THE LION KING has been seen by more than 14 million theatergoers and grossed over $928 million to date. After 10 years on the road, THE LION KING continues to celebrate unparalleled achievements and delight new audiences throughout North America. The current schedule is listed below.
ABOUT THE LION KING
In its 15th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, recently becoming the highest-grossing Broadway show in history. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 19 productions around the globe have been seen by more than 64 million people, grossed over $4.8 billion and, cumulatively, run a staggering 91 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the sixth longest-running musical in Broadway history and only the second show to generate five productions running 10 or more years. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 15 different countries on five continents. Continuing to reign as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world, THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, on stages across North America, on tour in Japan, and in Tokyo, London’s West End, Hamburg and Madrid. A UK tour launches later this month.
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.
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.”
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) and Doc Zorthian (Production Supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.
NORTH AMERICAN TOUR SCHEDULE THROUGH FEBRUARY 2013:
St. Louis – Fox Theatre
August 15 – September 2, 2012
Wichita – Century II Concert Hall
September 4 – 30, 2012
Albuquerque – Popejoy Hall
October 2 – 28, 2012
San Francisco – Orpheum Theatre
November 1 – January 13, 2013
Austin – Bass Concert Hall
January 16 – February 10, 2013
The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts operates as the Hobby Center Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Its mission is to provide first class performance facilities for our community and to encourage the education and outreach programs that contribute to the quality of life in our community. The complex houses two performance chambers, an award-winning restaurant, and an 800 car capacity on-premise parking garage. Built entirely with private money and then gifted to the City of Houston, the Foundation operates the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts without municipal or taxpayer operating support. Please visit TheHobbyCenter.org.
Broadway Across America
Part of the Key Brand Entertainment family of companies which includes Broadway.com, and is owned and operated by British theatre producer John Gore (CEO). Broadway Across America presents first-class touring musicals and plays across 40 North American cities and, under the supervision of Beth Williams (CEO – Theater Division), is dedicated to the development and production of new and diverse theatre. Current Broadway productions include THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS; MEMPHIS;ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS; and the US tour production of MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET. Broadway.com is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information, please visit BroadwayAcrossAmerica.com and Broadway.com.