Since its Broadway premiere in 1997, more than 80 million people have seen twenty-two global productions of The Lion King. The DisneyÂ musical, “follows the adventures of the young lion cub Simba, as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destined role of King.” Directed byÂ Julie Taymor, the first woman to ever receive a Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical,Â The Lion King has been a hit all around the world, including productions in Singapore,Â Moscow, Hong Kong and Istanbul, to name a few.
“It’s difficult not to become emotional at this realization of the show’s impact,” said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer at Disney Theatrical Productions, during an interview with the New York Daily News. He recalled the long road the musical has taken from its beginning in four downtown rehearsal rooms in May 1997.
“Our goal then was to tell the story purely and theatrically so that audiences could feel it in their heart,” he added. “And, to this day, that is the audience experience whether they see the show in Madrid; Appleton, Wisconsin; South Africa; Tokyo or Broadway. Of that, we are deeply proud, said Schumacher.Â ”
Broadway Black.com, compiled a list of highlights for the eighth longest-running show in Broadway history:
- The Lion King is the second show in history to produceÂ five productions worldwide running ten or more years.
- The hit musical was translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese),
- Productions ofÂ The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Melbourne, Australia; Basel, Switzerland; Mexico City; and on tour across North America and Japan, for a total of ten productions running concurrently across the globe.
- Having played 20 countries andÂ every continent except Antarctica,Â The Lion King’sÂ worldwide gross exceedsÂ that of any Broadway show, film, or other entertainment title in box office history.
- As of September 2014, The Lion King grossed a whopping $6.2 billion dollars, beating out Andrew Lloyd Webbers’Phantom of the Opera,Â whichÂ held the previous record at $6 billion.
- The Lion King won six Tony Awards in 1998: 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 (Julie Taymor), making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history to receive thatÂ honor.
Watch the video of The Lion King casts from all around the world celebrating the phenomenal milestone of 80 million guests.
VisitÂ The Lion King to purchase tickets to a show near you.
Where did you first see The Lion King?