‘Lion King’ stalking the Strip
Maybe Disney can challenge Cirque du Soleil Cirque du Soleil (French for "Circus of the Sun") is an entertainment empire based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and founded in Baie-Saint-Paul in 1984 by two former street performers, Guy Laliberté and Daniel Gauthier. for entertainment supremacy in Las Vegas Las Vegas (läs vā`gəs), city (1990 pop. 258,295), seat of Clark co., S Nev.; inc. 1911. It is the largest city in Nevada and the center of one of the fastest-growing urban areas in the United States. .
Cirque reigns as the current king with six local Vegas productions — “Mystere,” “O,” “Zumanity,” “Ka,” “Love” and “Criss Angel Criss Angel (born Christopher Nicholas Sarantakos on December 19, 1967) is an American magician, illusionist, musician, mentalist, hypnotist, escapologist, stunt performer, yoga master and actor. : Believe” — and plans for a seventh, a show about Elvis set for CityCenter when it opens late next year or in early 2010.
But Disney plans to dip its paw in the water with “The Lion King.” The Broadway hit roars into town with previews beginning April 22 at Mandalay Bay and the premiere planned for May 2.
Producers assure fans this will not be “Lion King, The Las Vegas Spectacular.” It will run the full 2 hours 20 minutes, with a 15 minute intermission — just as it does on Broadway. It won’t be compressed to 90 minutes to fit the presumption that Vegas audiences have limited attention spans.
If “The Lion King” succeeds, Disney might think about bringing its other productions to Vegas.
Disney has two other shows running on Broadway — “Mary Poppins” and “The Little Mermaid little mermaid
the sacrifices her own life to save her beloved prince. [Dan. Lit.: Andersen’s Fairy Tales]
See : Self-Sacrifice .” It has a backlot backlot
an area outside a film or television studio used for outdoor filming full of other high-powered productions — “Beauty and the Beast Beauty and the Beast is a traditional fairy tale (type 425C -- search for a lost husband -- in the Aarne-Thompson classification). The first published version of the fairy tale was a meandering rendition by Madame Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, published in ,” “Aida,” “Peter Pan” and “Tarzan,” which lasted a year on Broadway and is now in Holland and Hamburg. Of course, there’s always “High School Musical,” the stage play created from the hit TV movie.
Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Production Noun 1. theatrical production - the production of a drama on the stage
production - a presentation for the stage or screen or radio or television; "have you seen the new production of Hamlet?" , is amused by the possibility of Disney challenging Cirque.
“I have a long association with Cirque,” says Schumacher, who was in town recently promoting the upcoming debut of the Disney production. “I presented their first U.S. Engagement (‘We Reinvent the Circus’) in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles Downtown Los Angeles is the central business district of Los Angeles, California, located close to the geographic center of the metropolitan area. The sprawling, multi-centered megacity is such that its downtown core is often considered just another district like Hollywood or on Labor Day Labor Day, holiday celebrated in the United States and Canada on the first Monday in September to honor the laborer. It was inaugurated by the Knights of Labor in 1882 and made a national holiday by the U.S. Congress in 1894. 1987.”
“I have known Guy (Cirque founder Guy Lalibert) a very long time.”
Schumacher also has known “The Lion King” for 18 years.
He had modest success producing “The Rescuers Down Under” in 1990. Disney “punished me by giving me an orphaned film called ‘King of the Beasts’ to produce,” Schumacher says. “It was about this war between lions and baboons. There was no music. It was more of a National Geographic film.”
And lions have a limited repertoire, he says. “They sleep, they kill, they mate, they eat and then they do it all again.”
So he turned the Disney project into “The Lion King” with music by Elton John Sir Elton Hercules John CBE (born Reginald Kenneth Dwight on 25 March, 1947) is a five-time Grammy and one-time Academy Award-winning English pop/rock singer, composer and pianist. and Tim Rice Sir Timothy Miles Bindon Rice (born 10 November 1944) is an English Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Tony Award and Grammy Award winning lyricist, author, radio presenter and television gameshow panelist. . The film’s success came when “Beauty and the Beast” was hot on Broadway, so Schumacher was asked to turn his film into a Broadway show.
Schumacher isn’t thinking about bringing more Disney productions to Vegas.
“It isn’t impossible. But I have no idea what the landscape is out here,” he says. “What I know is our show. I know this team and this theater and I have confidence in that. It would be arrogant for me to tell you, ‘Here’s what we are going to do next.’ Let me do my show, say ‘Here’s what we do’ and go from there.”
He’s especially proud that the Vegas show will be the same one fans see on Broadway.
“It’s the way we created it and it’s the way we wanted it to play,” he says. “It is good to leave it in the pure state.”
Scott Voeller, vice president of marketing at Mandalay Bay, isn’t concerned about the show opening when the city is feeling the recession.
“You can imagine when we first started talking about the show and getting things going we really weren’t in this situation, but things changed rapidly,” Voeller says. “But we have no real concern. This is not a new show. It’s in its 11th year on Broadway. It has such a brand recognition that we feel there is very little risk. It’s been one of the top five Broadway shows for the last 10 years.”
Voeller says it’s priced right, with tickets from $53 to $113.50 and a VIP package for $168.
It also appeals to an audience with demographics similar to the show it replaces, “Mamma Mia!”
“Less than 5 percent of the people who come to Vegas come with kids under 18,” he says. “But ‘Lion King’ appeals to a broad-based audience. We feel very comfortable with it.”
After the ABBA musical ends its six-year run on Jan. 4, very little will have to be done to modify the theater at Mandalay Bay — saving on remodeling remodeling /re·mod·el·ing/ (re-mod´el-ing) reorganization or renovation of an old structure.
bone remodeling costs and cutting the down time between shows.
Jerry Fink can be reached at 259-4058 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMPANIES AROUND THE WORLD
New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
Las Vegas (opening 2009)
BY THE NUMBERS
11: Years on Broadway
50 million: People who have seen the production worldwide
11: Number of countries where it has been performed
More than 70: Awards, including six Tonys and a Grammy
200 plus: Puppets
53: Cast members
17: Wardrobe people
5: Hair and makeup artists
3: Puppet craftsmen
Director/costume designer/mask and puppet co-designer: Julie Taymor
Music: Elton John
Lyrics: Tim Rice
Additional music, lyrics: Lebo M, Mark Mancina Mark Mancina (born March 9, 1957 in Santa Monica, California) is a composer, primarily for Hollywood soundtracks, such as his collaboration with Trevor Rabin on the soundtrack for Con Air. , Hans Zimmer, Jay Rifkin
Book: Roger Allers, Irene Mecchi
Choreography: Garth Fagan
Scenic design: Richard Hudson
Lighting design: Donald Holder
Mask and puppet co-designer: Michael Curry
Hair, makeup design: Michael Ward
Sound design: Steven C. Kennedy
Associate director: Anthony Lyn
Production dance supervisor: Marey Griffith
Technical director: David Benken
Associate music producer/orchestrator: Robert Elhai
Orchestrator: David Metzger
Music coordinator: Michael Keller
Executive music producer: Chris Montan