The Lion King Broadway Musical Comes to South Africa

This year is going to prove to be a very special one for the South African audience who will get to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of “The Lion King” as a Broadway musical. There are very few of us who have not seen the wonderful Disney animated movie “The Lion King” brought out in 1997, some years back.

The production will take place on the South African stage in Johannesburg where we will be provided with a spectacular musical, showcasing the immense talent we have in South Africa. Lebo M, a musician and a composer, was part of the original production of the animated Lion King in New York and will again take part in the musical. The music featured will be totally home grown with well-known tunes like “Pridelands” and “Circle of Life” making it a truly South African event.

For those whose memory is a bit hazy on the story line of “The Lion King” here is a quick refresher. Simba, a lion cub, loses his father in death to his malicious uncle who desires to rule as king. For many years Simba secretly hides away in the jungle until he is older and more capable of overthrowing his cruel uncle, replacing him as king, as he rightly should be.

The Lion King production is set to open on the 6th of June 2007 at the 1,900-seat Monte Casino theater. Casting for the fifty-three artists needed to make the musical a reality began last year September. Ever since the first production of the movie South Africa has played an important role in making the movie the hit it has been. It only makes sense that the tenth anniversary of the Lion King Broadway production would then take place in the country that has had so much influence and involvement in it.

Julie Taymor, an award winning director; Thomas Schumacher, a well-known producer; Pieter Toerien, an experienced theater producer; and Lebo M, a composer are just some of the few highly qualified members that will help make the musical a great success for all people, young and old, to enjoy. Many cast members taking part in the South African version of the Lion King musical have taken part in many similar versions around the world. These cast members include Buyi Zama who plays Rafiki, Andile Gumbi as Simba and Sello Make as Mufasa. The official sponsors of this truly memorable event will be SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) and South Africa Telkom.