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Bringing the Savannah to the Eccles: ‘The Lion King’ (preview)

Adam Fondren
George S. And Dolores Dore’ Eccles Theater Febuary 25, 2017. Adam Fondren for Daily Utah Chronicle.

The long-loved story of Simba the lion is coming to Salt Lake City and gracing the stage of the Eccles Theatre this week.

Based off of the wildly popular 1994 Disney animated film, “The Lion King” is a musical with world renowned music backing a treasured story. Both the film and the movie are internationally recognized, though their basis is not always. The idea stems from the beginnings of a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, which Elton John and Tim Rice then put to music and lyrics.

Over 90 million audience members worldwide have experienced the joys of “The Lion King” musical; the production has won 70 major theatre awards internationally. Boasting more than 24 global productions around the world, it is the third-longest running show on Broadway as well as the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time, having grossed more than $1 billion.

Directed by Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor with choreography by Tony Award-winning choreographer Garth Fagan, the Broadway Touring company of “The Lion King” will be stopping through Salt Lake City with this engaging show.

The story focuses on Simba, son of Mufasa, and their life on the Pride Lands in the African safari. Known for its innovative and vibrant depiction of human-wildlife, the musical has an impressive array of exotic staging, makeup and costumes, including 18 foot-tall giraffes featured in the song “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” as well as more than 323 puppets, many life-size, created over 37,000 hours of production work.

Featuring a multifaceted cast of actors, singers and dancers, “The Lion King” has a well-rounded production team. Mark Campell plays Scar, Gerald Ramsey portrays Mufasa, Buyi Zama exemplifies Rafiki, Drew Hirshfield plays Zazu, Nick Cordileone acts as Timon, Dashaun Young plays Simba, Ben Lipitz plays Pumbaa and Nia Holloway brings audiences Nala.

“The Lion King” will be playing at the Eccles Theater March 23-April 16. Ticket information can be found online on the Eccles theater website:

For more information about the production and background, visit

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