Tony-winning musical The Lion King celebrates its 8,000th Broadway performance today. Based on Disney's 1994 animated musical, The Lion King first opened its doors at the New Amsterdam Theatre on October 15, 1997, with an opening night on November 13, 1997. One of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, the production is currently playing at the Minskoff Theatre.
The Lion King's Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from The Lion King 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 book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who codirected the movie, and Irene Mecchi, who cowrote the film's screenplay.
The musical 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.
Productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway, London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Mexico City, Shanghai, Scheveningen, and on tour across North America, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played over one-hundred cities in ninteen countries, The Lion King's worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
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