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June 12, 2018

Casting Announced for Disney’s THE LION KING

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Casting has been announced for the East Lansing engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING, which will leap onto the stage at Wharton Center for Performing Arts from Wednesday, July 11 through July 29, 2018.

The production features Mark Campbell as “Scar,” Gerald Ramsey as “Mufasa,” Mukelisiwe Goba as “Rafiki,” Nick Cordileone as “Timon,” Greg Jackson as “Zazu,” Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa,” Jared Dixon as “Simba,” Nia Holloway as “Nala,” Keith Bennett as “Banzai,” Martina Sykes as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”

The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Joziyah Jean-Felix and Salahedin Safi and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Danielle W. Jalade and Gloria Manning.

Rounding out the cast are Derek Adams, Kayla Rose Aimable, Andrew Arrington, William John Austin, Kyle R. Banks, Eric Bean, Jr., Kolin Jerron, Thabani Buthelezi, Sasha Caicedo, Kyle Robert Carter, Thembelihle Cele, Erynn Marie Dickerson, Tony Freeman, Deidrea Halley, William James Jr., Jane King, Gregory Manning II, Brandon A. McCall, Christopher L. Mc Kenzie, Jr., Nhlanhla Ndlovu, Aaron Nelson, Selloane Nkhela, Phindile Nyandeni, Phylicia Pearl, Christopher Sams, Jordan Samuels, Mpume Sikakane, Sadé Simmons, Kimber Sprawl, Kevin Tate, Jennifer Theriot, Courtney Thomas, Shacura Wade, Zola Williams and Krystal Worrell.

There will be a sensory-friendly performance (SFP) on Saturday, July 21, 2018, at 2:00PM. Wharton Center, in collaboration with a variety of MSU and community partners, has created an initiative to provide a supportive and welcoming environment that will make live theatre accessible to those with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), developmental disabilities, sensory processing disorder, and other sensory-sensitive people and their families. The SFP of Disney's THE LION KING will be the first of what will be many upcoming Broadway SFPs. For more information on Wharton Center’s SFP programs, please visit www.whartoncenter.com/sfp.

Tickets are now on sale at Wharton Center’s official ticketing outlets: online at whartoncenter.com, at the Auto-Owner’s Insurance Ticket Office at Wharton Center or by calling 1-800-WHARTON. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by calling (517) 884-3130. VIP ticket packages - which include a prime seat location, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item - are also available.

Ticket buyers are reminded that whartoncenter.com is the only official retail ticket outlet for all performances. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Wharton Center is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance.

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 19 million theatergoers. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, THE LION KING now proudly makes its return to East Lansing.

About THE LION KING

In its 20th year, THE LION KING continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 24 global productions have been seen by more than 95 million people. 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 worldwide running 10 or more years. Performed in eight different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; Manila; Scheveningen; Sapporo and on tour across North America, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe.

Having played over 100 cities in 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica, THE LION KING’S worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

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. 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.

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award® for Direction of a Musical, Taymor has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.

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.”

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. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer.

For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com.

Shows, dates, times, prices, and artists are subject to change.

Performance Schedule

  • Tuesdays through Thursdays at 7:30PM
  • Fridays at 8:00PM
  • Saturdays at 2:00 and 8:00PM
  • Sundays at 1:00 and 6:30PM

**Please note: during the first week of the engagement, there will be no Tuesday evening performance and, instead, there will be a Thursday matinee at 2:00PM. There will also be no Sunday evening performance on July 29; instead, there will be a Thursday matinee on July 26 at 2:00PM.

This East Lansing engagement of Disney’s THE LION KING is welcomed by Auto-Owners Insurance; Delta Dental of Michigan; Farm Bureau Insurance; Ingham County and the Arts Council of Greater Lansing; Jackson National Life Insurance Company; and McLaren Greater Lansing.