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The Lion King
Photograph: Courtesy Joan MarcusThe Lion King

Guide to The Lion King on Broadway

Read our guide to when, where and how to see the lavish and innovative Disney musical The Lion King on Broadway

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman

At the start of The Lion King, Broadway director Julie Taymor creates a pageant that instantly transports the audience to a gorgeous world of African imagination unlike anything we've seen in Broadway musicals before or since. As the company sings "The Circle of Life," a procession of beasts parades through the aisles of the Minskoff Theatre: flocks of birds, leaping gazelles, towering giraffes, a lumbering elephant, all rendered thorugh eye-popping puppetry and costumes. Faithfully adapted from Disney's hugely popular 1994 animated movie, about a young lion who must reclaim his kingdom from the clutches of an evil uncle, the musical is one of the best Broadway shows for kids, and there's plenty of slapstick comedy to entertain the littles ones. But this is not just your children's Lion King. The movie's catchy score, by Elton John and Tim Rice, has been augmented with music rooted in proud African traditions, and the production is a stunning celebration of color and movement. No wonder The Lion King has been running for nearly 20 years. Taymor's audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage.

What is The Lion King?

The Lion King is a musical adapted from the 1994 Disney animated film The Lion King. It features music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice and a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. It is directed by Julie Taymor. It began previews on October 15, 1997, and opened on November 13, 1997. It is the winner of six 1998 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and is currently the third-longest-running Broadway musical of all time.

Where is The Lion King playing?

The Lion King plays at Broadway's Minskoff Theatre, located at 200 West 45th Street at the corner of Seventh Avenue. (From 1997 through June 4, 2006, it was at the New Amsterdam Theatre.)

When does The Lion King play?

The Book of Mormon plays eight times a week, on the following schedule: Tuesdays at 7pm; Wednesdays at 2pm and 7pm; Thursdays at 7pm; Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm; and Sundays at 3pm.

How do I get tickets to The Lion King on Broadway?

Tickets to The Lion King are sold online. They can also be purchased by phone (866-870-2717) or in person at the Minskoff Theatre box office. Tickets cost $89–$172, and premium tickets cost $199–$299. A limited number of $30 tickets are also available every day via The Lion King's digital lottery, which can be entered until 9am on the day of the performance. If you're looking to buy last-minute Broadway tickets, you can try your luck at the secondary or resale market.

How long is The Lion King?

The running time of The Lion King is 2 hours and 40 minutes, with one intermission.

Who is in The Lion King on Broadway?

The cast of The Lion King currently includes Gareth Saxe (Scar), L. Steven Taylor (Mufasa), Tshidi Manye (Rafiki), Jeffrey Kuhn (Zazu), Ben Jeffrey (Pumbaa), Fred Berman (Timon), Jelani Remy (Simba) and Chantel Riley (Nala).

The Lion King original cast & crew

Jason Raize as Simba
John Vickery as Scar
Samuel E. Wright as Mufasa
Heather Headley as Nala
Tsidii Le Loka as Rafiki
Max Casella as Timon
Tom Alan Robbins as Pumbaa
Geoff Hoyle as Zazu
Tracy Nicole Chapman as Shenzi
Stanley Wayne Mathis as Banzai
Kevin Cahoon as Ed
Gina Breedlove as Sarabi
Scott Irby-Ranniar as Young Simba
Kajuana Shuford as Young Nala
Julie Taymor - Director
Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi - Book
Elton John - Music
Tim Rice - Lyrics
Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer - Additional Music and Lyrics
Garth Fagan - Choreographer
Richard Hudson - Scenic Design
Julie Taymor - Costume Design
Donald Holder - Lighting Design
Tony Meola - Sound Design
Disney Theatrical Productions - Producer

The Lion King awards

1998 Tony Awards

Best Musical
Best Direction of a Musical
- Julie Taymor
Best Choreography - Garth Fagan
Best Scenic Design for a Musical - Richard Hudson
Best Costume Design for a Musical - Julie Taymor and Michael Curry
Best Lighting Design for a Musical - Donald Holder

1998 Drama Desk Awards

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical - Tsidii Le Loka
Outstanding Director - Julie Taymor
Outstanding Choreography - Garth Fagan
Outstanding Set Design - Richard Hudson
Outstanding Costume Design - Julie Taymor
Outstanding Lighting Design - Donald Holder
Outstanding Sound Design - Tony Meola
Outstanding Puppet Design - Julie Taymor and Michael Curry

Listen to The Lion King's original Broadway cast album on Spotify

Buy The Lion King's original Broadway cast album on Amazon