Julie Taymor, Lebo M., and Six Rafikis Mark The Lion King's 15th Anniversary on Broadway
Disney's Tony Award-winning musical The Lion King celebrated its 15th Anniversary performance on Sunday, November 18, with a special multi-lingual rendition of the show's iconic anthem "Circle of Life," sung by six "Rafikis" from around the world.
Most of the musical's original creative team, including Tony Award-winning director/co-costume designer Julie Taymor and vocal arranger/composer Lebohang "Lebo M." Morake, took the stage after curtain-call for a celebratory bow. As confetti canons fired, they lead the packed house in a musical encore (joined by multi-lingual monkeys).
Since its Broadway premiere in October 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theater, the five-time Tony Award-winning musical has been translated into seven languages and performed in 15 different countries on five continents. Inspired by the 1994 Disney animated film, the musical features a score by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional musical material by Lebo M., Taymor, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin , and Hans Zimmer.
The current cast of The Lion King features Patrick R. Brown (Scar), Alton Fitzgerald White (Mufasa), Tshidi Manye (Rafiki), Jeff Binder (Zazu), Benn Jeffrey (Pumbaa), Fred Berman (Timon), Andile Gumbi (Simba), and Chantel Riley (Nala).