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Lion King Costumes and Masks Become Part of Smithsonian's Permanent Collection logo
Tshidi Manye in The Lion King
(© Joan Marcus)
Costume pieces designed by Julie Taymor for The Lion King, as well as a mask used in the musical co-designed by Taymor and Michael Curry, have been donated to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

The costume elements, including Simba's lion mask and headdress and the costume, custom shoes, and hat designed for Rafiki, will join the ranks of iconic objects from Broadway musicals such as Cats, Rent and The King and I, all of which are part of the museum's permanent entertainment collections.

The Lion King, now in its 12th year on Broadway, recently surpassed the 50 million mark in worldwide attendance, becoming the first American musical to reach that milestone. Directed by Taymor, the production has scenic design by Richard Hudson; lighting design by Donald Holder, and choreography by Garth Fagan. The book is by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated feature and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the screenplay of the movie. The production features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from the 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 an album inspired by the animated film, "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.

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