The Lion King Musical by Disney comes to Singapore in March 2011

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At the Singapore Media Conference at Sands Theatre

26 October 2010, Singapore – My first West End musical during my visit to London in June of 2010 was The Lion King which was held at the Lyceum Theatre. I was touched to tears during the opening song “Circle of Life” and was awed by the costumes and puppetry.  The London cast was made up of very good and powerful vocalists and the atmosphere was warmed with the structure and architecture of the historic 2100-seater Lyceum Theatre.  Check out some photos taken at the Lyceum Theatre when I visited London for the AirAsia British Motor Grand Prix.

Lyceum Theatre in London

Interior of the Lyceum Theater

Stall Seats at the Lyceum Theatre

Ticket for The Lion King musical at the Lyceum Theatre

3 cubs at The Lion King Musical at the Lyceum Theatre

And to my surprise, I spotted fellow Singaporean, Mitch Leow, who was part of the ensemble in London since April 2006.  Mitch trained at the Singapore Armed Forces Music and Drama Company and Millennium Dance Theatre College.  He performed in Turandot (Royal Opera House), Madam Butterfly (ENO), Bent and Comrade Mayor (both Singapore). The Lion King marks Mitch’s West End debut.  I had a chat with Mitch on Facebook to share with us his experience performing in The Lion King in London and about the lead cast for the Singapore production.  This was what Mitch had to say:

“Simba (Jonathan Andrew Hume) and Nala (Alexia Khadime) have both worked with me before. Andrew is still part of the London cast at the moment. Alexia was Nala when I was in my first year in London’s Lion King and she was the perfect role model for me – she had a stunning voice, was a great actress and dedicated herself to every naunce of the performance onstage. Apart from being a gem on the stage, Alexia was quite a nurturer and took very good care of her fellow cast members – she showed me extraordinary kindness when I was faced with the challenge of my first West End contract. It was fitting that she went from strength to strength after leaving the Pridelands, and made history by being the first black female lead in the UK to play Elphaba in Apollo Victoria’s ‘Wicked’.

Singapore could not be graced with a better Simba than Andrew Hume. He will be playing the run in Marina Bay Sands and he will bring with him the most spirited performance of the role that I have ever witnessed.”

Mitch also has this to share about the most important thing about this production for him ” It has always been the theme of ‘journey’. Simba is estranged from his pride and escapes the Pridelands following the events of Mufasa’s (his father’s) death. He goes into the jungle and meets new friends and finds a new way of life, forgetting his troubles, but along with that, forgets his duty and responsibility. Time passes and his childhood friend, Nala, escapes the Pridelands in a state of loss. In a twist of events, Nala finds Simba in the jungle and tries to persuade him back to the Pridelands. At first, Simba refuses. There are mistakes that he would rather not face up to. There are things he would rather not remember. But another old friend appears, Rafiki, to show him that everything that he had ever needed to fight his battles were in him, a part of him. Imbued with new courage, he returns to fight for his rightful place.

Simba’s journey is a remarkable one. It reminds everyone, in times of confusion and loss, that it is all part of the journey and that we have to fight to get to where we belong, for what we believe in.

This Disney award-winning musical celebrated its triumphant tenth anniversary at London’s Lyceum Theatre last year, where it has been seen by over 8 million people since its UK Premiere in 1999 and is now one of the ten longest-running musicals in the West End history.  Basing on what I saw in London, I would strongly recommend you to watch The Lion King when it comes to Singapore.

Julie Taymor adapted Disney’s 1994 animated film for the stage and was first seen on Broadway in 1997 and has now been seen by over 50 million people across 5 continents.   The Lion King won 6 Tony Awards in 1998 for Best Musical, Best Director of Musical – Julie Taymor, Best Choreography – Garth Fagan, Best Scenic Design – Richard Hudson, Best Costume Design – Julie Taymor and Best Lighting Design – Donald Holder.

South African composer Lebohang Morake, known more familiarly as Lebo M, wrote completely new songs and created an evocative blend of African rhtyms and chorales, with additional material by Julie Taymor and Mark Mancina.   Lebo, once a teenage singer in Soweto, has attracted music industry giants such as Quincy Jones, Jimmy Cliff and Hans Zimmer as mentors, allies and collaborators.  He has performed and produced 3 albums, Rhythm of the Pride Lands (Disney), Deeper Meaning (Gallo) and The Lion King (Japanese Cast recording).   Other credits include The Power of One, Back on the Block and Listen Up with Quincy Jones; the feature films Outbreak (Warner Bros.), Congo (Warner Bros.) and Born to be Wild (Paramount); and the Disney television special People.  He has performed on the Academy Awards and the Essence Awards Show, with Vanessa Redgrave at Kthimi-The Return in Kosovo, and been honoured by Artists for a Free South Africa.

Elton John and Tim Rice have added three new numbers to the five that they wrote for the award-winning score of the animated film.  You will get to enjoy a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa.

Today, Marina Bay Sands and BASE Entertainment announced that tickets for The Lion King are now on sale to the public.  The production, brought into Singapore by BASE Entertainment and presented by OCBC Cards, will be showing from 3 March 2011  at the Sands Theatre within Marina Bay Sands.

The cast for the Singapore production comprises the cream of Lion King performers from around the world, including veterans of the acclaimed London and Paris productions.  The cast of 49 will be formed from 8 countries and 5 continents.  This cast will include South African members, in keeping with the show’s spirit of authenticity.  Rehearsals for full cast and crew are scheduled for January 2011.

Ticket prices will range from $65 to $240 and are available from:

  • www.thelionking.com.sg
  • Visiting the Marina Bay Sands box office
  • Visiting the SISTIC outlets or
  • Calling +6563485555

Packages for hotel stays, restaurants and show tickets are available from www.showbiz.com.sg.  Marina Bay Sands is offering a signature LION KING package available at www.marinabaysands.com

Performance Schedules are Tuesday to Friday 8pm and Saturday and Sunday 2pm and 8pm.  Each performance is two and a half hours long.

The Original London Cast

The Masks and Puppets

Interesting Facts

  • The Walt Disney Company donated 2 complete costumes from The Lion King to the permanent collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum on 11 June 2010.  The elaborate stage costumes and masks for the characters “Scar” and “Sarabi” joined the V&A’s Theatre and Performance Collections, alongside 3,500 stage costumes and accessories dating from the mid 18th century to today.
  • The Lion King had its European premiere on 19 October 1999 at the London’s Lyceum Theatre, welcoming over 8 million theatregoers to over 4000 performances.  More than 50 million people have seen The Lion King in 13 different countries and in 5 different languages.
  • The Lion King opened in Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theatre on 13 November 1997.  In June 2006, it transfered to the Minskoff Theatre on Times Square.
  • The Lion King opened in July 2010 at the Mandalay Bay Theatre in Las Vegas making it the first Disney Theatrical Production to play in Las Vegas.
  • The Lion King’s first performance in Hamburg was at the Hafentheater on 2 December 2001. The audience journey to the theatre on special The Lion King boats.2 productions opened in Japan in Tokyo (20 December 1998) and a national tour (18 April 1999)
  • The Lion King opened at the Fortis Circustheater in Scheveningen in Holland on 4 April 2004.
  • On 6 June 2007, an all-South African cast opened The Lion King at the Montecasino Theatre in Johannesburg and is the most successful musical in South African history.
  • 2 August 2008, The Lion King opened at the Taipei Dome in Taiwan.
  • The Lion King can currently be seen in Paris, Tokyo, Hamburg, Las Vegas, London and New York.  Another production is touring cities in the US indefinitely and has played to over 10 million theatregoers.  The production is due to open in Singapore from 3 March 2011.  In total, The Lion King has played in 13 different countries : US, UK, Japan, Canada, Germany, Australia, Holland, China, South Korea, South Africa, Mexico, Taiwan and France.
  • The Lion King has been translated into 5 different languages – Japanese, German, Korean, French and Dutch.
  • All productions of The Lion King feature lyrics and chants in the African languages Zulu, Zhosa, Sotha, and Swahili
  • Over 100 South African performers have played in productions around the world during The Lion King’s history, 25 in the UK production.
  • The Lion King has won over 30 major awards between the New York and London Productions and over 70 awards worldwide including the Tony Award for Best Musical and the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show album which was released in the UK in September 1999 to coincide with the London opening.  Every member of the creative team was also awarded a Tony for the Broadway production as well as awards for costume and design, music, choreography. Elton John and Tim Rice were awarded the Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement in Musical Theatre for the London Production.
  • More than 17,000 hours were required to build the show’s many masks and more than 200 puppets.
  • All the corsets worn by the lionesses are hand-beaded using a range of different materials, including shells, glass, ceramics, fish bones, copper and bronze.  Each bead is sewn on by hand.
  • Lighting designer Donald Holder used nearly 700 lighting instruments to create the show’s lighting plot.


Here’re the videos of the performances taken during the Media Launch Event

held today at the Sands Theatre, Marina Bay Sands.

Circle of Life

Nala

Simba

Simba and Nala (Can you feel the love tonight)

Simba, Rafiki and Choir

Mr. Stephen Crocker from the Disney Theatrical Division on the Creative background

Media Conference Panel Q&A

 

 

Title Sponsor, Ms. Lynn Gaspar from OCBC

Lion King Singapore Photocall Fly to London and catch a musical at Lyceum Theatre

 

10 Comments

  1. Pingback: The Lion King Musical Is Back In Singapore till 26 August 2018 »

  2. Pingback: Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Fantasy | SUPERADRIANME

  3. Lion King is my favorite show. The costumes were spectacular and the entire cast had amazing vocals.

  4. Pingback: Disney on Ice is back in Singapore! | SUPERADRIANME

  5. Pingback: Review of The Lion King Singapore | SUPERADRIANME

  6. Pingback: The Lion King Starts Rehearsals at Marina Bay Sands | SUPERADRIANME

  7. love the musical!!!

  8. hello

  9. Yes you have to. And get your family and friends to watch it together with you. Not to be missed unless you want to fly to London on AirAsiaX from KUL to catch the West End version. 😉

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