The stage musical version of this 1994 classic Disney animated feature opened on July 8 1997 in Minneapolis, to rave reviews.
The Broadway version opened officially on November 13 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre. In June 2006 it transferred to the Minskoff Theatre.
The London version opened in the Lyceum Theatre on September 1999 and remained there ever since.
Director: Julie Taymor Music: Elton John Lyrics: Tim Rice Additional Music & Lyrics: Lebo M, Mark Mancina Book: Irene Mecchi, Roger Allers Lighting Design: Donald Holder Set Design: Richard Hudson Costume Design: Julie Taymor Mask / Puppet Design: Julie Taymor & Michael Curry Choreography: Garth Fagan Hair & Makeup Design: Michael Ward Sound Design: Tony Meola / Steve Canyon Kennedy Producer: Disney Theatrical Productions
The opening of the show is an unforgettable blend of scenic automation, puppetry, choreography, lighting design and simple theatrical devices.
Taking pride of place is the amazing Pride Rock scenic piece which rotates as it rises up through the stage floor, through electric and hydraulic motors, all computer-controlled. To frame it, the rear of the stage rakes up to form a horizon line on the cyclorama.
On tour, Pride Rock doesn’t rise through the floor, but is a ‘train’ of automated pieces which track onstage. The rhythm of the show is still the same; it’s just not practically possible to achieve the full effect on tour.