Broadway's landmark musical event THE LION KING, which recently became the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history, is pleased to welcome Andile Gumbi as Simba, beginning performances tonight.
Gumbi joins the New York company of THE LION KING, after having performed the role in London, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and South Africa. He has, for years, been the face of THE LION KING, appearing around the world on billboards, ads and TV commercials for the show.
Andile Gumbi From Durban, South Africa. Theatre: Lalela; The Lion King (London, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai and Johannesburg); Ntsikana (DUT); Nkonyeni High (DUT and Bloemfontein); Dance Through Me (Black BiRD Productions, Australia). Television: Good Friday Appeal; Carols By Candlelight (both in Australia). Performed on the soundtrack of Elephant Tales. A member of Abanqobi Musical Group from 1999-2004. Wrote the short film Garden of Gethsmane for Roar-Shorts.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, THE LION KING is playing at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre (200 West 45th Street). For tickets, show information and performance schedule, call Ticketmaster's Disney on Broadway hotline at 866-870-2717 or visit online, LionKing.com.
In its 15th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, recently becoming the highest-grossing Broadway show in history. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 19 productions around the globe have been seen by more than 65 million people, grossed over $4.8 billion and, cumulatively, run a staggering 91 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 running 10 or more years. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 15 different countries on five continents. Continuing to reign as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world, THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, on stages across North America, on tour in Japan, and in Tokyo, London's West End, Hamburg and Madrid. A UK tour launches in Bristol, England later this month.
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: 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, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor. 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.
On stage, Taymor's creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. 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.
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."