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Broadway Theatre Review

The Lion King

Five Stars

Photo by Joan Marcus
The Original Broadway Cast of The Lion King
The Original Broadway Cast of The Lion King
More production photos

What the popular press said...

"Seen purely as a visual tapestry, there is simply nothing else like it. Suddenly, you're 4 years old again, and you've been taken to the circus for the first time. You can only marvel at the exotic procession of animals before you: the giraffes and the elephants and the hippopotamuses and all those birds in balletic flight. Such is the transporting magic wrought by the opening 10 minutes of The Lion King, [director Julie] Taymor has introduced a whole new vocabulary of images to the Broadway blockbuster."
Ben Brantley for New York Times

"Julie Taymor's staging of Disney's The Lion King is a marvel, a theatrical achievement unrivaled in its beauty, brains and ingenuity. Leaping far beyond its celluloid inspiration, the stage version improves upon nearly every aspect of the hit 1994 animated film, from visual artistry and storytelling to Lebo M's score and the newly African-ized pop songs of Elton John and Tim Rice."
Greg Evans for Variety

"A jaw-dropping magnificent spectacle. The show and the playhouse are enchanting. The unprecedented production is worth every penny. If this is Disney's idea of a theme park, we are delighted to report that the theme is quality."
Linda Winer for Newsday

"Awe-inspiring! Broadway theater is alive again. [Julie] Taymor's imaginative ideas seem limitless. it's a gorgeous, gasp-inducing spectacle. Most important - against all odds - it has innocence. The show appeals to our primal, childlike excitement in the power of theater to make us see things afresh."
Richard Zoglin for Time Magazine

"The breathtakingly staged Broadway adaptation of Disney's king of the cartoon jungle is an instant theater classic."
Chris Willman for Entertainment Weekly

External links to full reviews from popular press...

New York Times - Variety

Production Details
Venue: Minskoff Theatre
(Originally opened at New Amsterdam Theatre)
Genre: Musical
Previewed: 15 Oct 1997
Opened: 13 Nov 1997
Music: Elton John
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Book: Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi
Director: Julie Taymor

Synopsis: The Lion King 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.

Opening Cast: Jason Raize (Simba), Heather Headley (Nala), Tsidii Le Loka (Rafiki), Samuel E. Wright (Mufasa), John Vickery (Scar), Max Casella (Timon), Tom Alan Robbins (Pumbaa), Geoff Hoyle (Zazu), Gina Breedlove (Sarabi), Tracy Nicole Chapman (Shenzi), Stanley Wayne Mathis (Banzai), Kevin Cahoon (Ed), Scott Irby-Ranniar (Young Simba), and Kajuana Shuford (Young Nala)
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