The Lion King: first B'way show to gross $1 Billion
Walt Disney's Broadway production of The Lion King is to make Broadway history when it becomes the first show on the Great White Way to gross over $1 billion. The show had grossed $997 million as of 06 Oct 2013, and will gross over $1billion before the month of Oct 2013 ends.
The 5th longest running show in Broadway history The Lion King is now in its 16th year, and has grossed more than Broadway's longest running show 'The Phantom of the Opera,' which has played on Broadway since 1988 - almost 10 years longer than The Lion King, and in comparision has grossed $930 as of 06 Oct 2013.
How has the The Lion King acheived this historic landmark? No doubt the popularity of the family friendly show has helped - usually playing to packed houses the musical has only dipped below 80 percent capacity less than a dozen times troughout its run.
However popularity alone does not account for the show attaining $1 billion gross - the musical's high ticket prices have also played their part. The average ticket price for The Lion King sells at $130, making it one of the most expensive tickets on Broadway - of the 30 shows currently playing on Broadway, only 'Kinky Boots' and 'The Book of Mormon' charge more.
The musical opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 13 Nov 1997, following previews from 15 Oct. On the 13 Jun 2006 the musical moved to the Minskoff Theatre. The Lion King, now in its 16th year, it is the 5th longest running show in Broadway history.
The musical tells the story of the epic adventures of a young lion cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role as king.
Directed by Julie Taymor and choreographed by Garth Fagan, The Lion King currently features Gareth Saxe (Scar), Alton Fitzgerald White (Mufasa), Buyi Zama (Rafiki), Jeff Binder (Zazu), Ben Jeffrey (Pumbaa), Fred Berman (Timon), Aaron Nelson (Simba), Chantel Riley (Nala), James Brown-Orleans (Banzai), Bonita J. Hamilton (Shenzi), Enrique Segura (Ed), Jaden Jordan and Caleb McLaughlin alternate the role of 'Young Simba' and, Bobbi Bordley and Teshi Thomas alternate the role of 'Young Nala'.
Director Julie Taymor became the first woman in Broadway history to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.
The Lion King has book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, music by Elton John, with additional music by Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, Mark Mancina, and Jay Rifkin, and lyrics by Tim Rice.
The creative team for The Lion King features Richard Hudson (sets), Michael Curry (costumes), Donald Holder (lighting) and Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound).
The Lion King won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.