Broadway’s Award-Winning Best Musical
Tampa’s Limited Return Engagement Plays
Jan. 20 – Feb. 14, 2016, at The Straz Center
Tampa, Fla. – Casting has been announced for the Tampa engagement of Disney’s The Lion King. Tampa’s most eagerly awaited stage production ever will leap onto the Morsani Hall stage Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2016, as part of the Bank of America Best of Broadway Tampa Bay series.
The production features Patrick R. Brown as “Scar,” Gerald Ramsey as “Mufasa,” Mukelisiwe Goba as “Rafiki,” Drew Hirshfield as “Zazu,” Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa,” Nick Cordileone as “Timon,” Aaron Nelson as “Simba,” Nia Holloway as “Nala,” Keith Bennett as “Banzai,” Tiffany Denise Hobbs as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”
The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between BJ Covington and Tré Jones and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Savanna Fleisher and Mikari Tarpley.
The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, The Lion King now proudly makes its Tampa return at The Straz Center.
ABOUT THE LION KING
In its 18th year, The Lion King remains ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on Nov. 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 80 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 112 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years. Translated into eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Melbourne, Australia; Mexico City; and on tour across North America and Japan, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe. Having played in more than 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
The Lion King won six 1998 Tony Awards® including Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical. The Lion King has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from The Lion King 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 Rhythm of the Pride Lands, an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to the haunting ballad “Shadowland.”
The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
For more information worldwide, visit www.LionKing.com.
Disney’s The Lion King will play Morsani Hall, Jan. 20-Feb. 14, 2016. Performances are Tuesday – Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. There are added 2 p.m. matinee performances on Thursday, Jan. 21, and Thursday, Jan. 28. There is no matinee performance on Saturday, Jan. 30 (Gasparilla). Regularly priced tickets are $35-$120. A premium seating package is available for $128.50-$178.50, and includes the best seats in the theater, a commemorative souvenir program and a complimentary show merchandise item. Tickets may be purchased by calling 813.229.STAR (7827) or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at www.strazcenter.org. Handling fees will apply. For more information about the Straz Center for the Performing Arts and its upcoming events, please visit the Straz Center’s website at www.strazcenter.org.