New principals begin tonight in Disney's The Lion King



Disney Theatrical's Broadway production of The Lion King welcomes two new principal cast members tonight: L. Steven Taylor takes on the role of Mufasa, whilst Jelani Remy leads as Simba.

Mr. Taylor previously appeared in the Broadway production both as a member of the ensemble and understudy for the roles of Mufasa and Scar, beginning in 2005. He also played the role of Mufasa on the North American tour for two years. This marks Mr. Remy's Broadway debut, although he has already played Simba on the North American tour and was a member of the ensemble of the Las Vegas production.

The Lion King originally opened at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 13 November 1997, following previews from 15 October. On 13 June 2006, the musical moved to its current home - the Minskoff Theatre. It is currently booking through to 13 March 2016.

The Lion King features a 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 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 principal cast of The Lion King currently features Jelani Remy (Simba), Chantel Riley (Nala), Gareth Saxe (Scar), L. Steven Taylor (Mufasa), Gugwana Dlamini (Rafiki), Jeffrey Kuhn (Zazu), Ben Jeffrey (Pumbaa), Fred Berman (Timon), James Brown-Orleans (Banzai), Bonita J. Hamilton (Shenzi), Enrique Segura (Ed), Isaiah D. Negron and Jahi Diallo Winston (alternate as Young Simba), and K'lynn Jackman and Shahadi Wright Joseph (alternate as Young Nala).

The creative team for The Lion King features scenic design by Richard Hudson, costume design by Michael Curry, lighting design by Donald Holder, and sound design by Steve Canyon Kennedy.

The Lion King won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and Director Julie Taymor became the first woman in Broadway history to win the Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical.

- by Tom Millward

Photo by Joan Marcus
L. Steven Taylor as MufasaJelani Remy as Simba