Shanghai Disney Resort and Disney Theatrical Productions announced today that Disney's landmark musical event, THE LION KING, is coming to the Walt Disney Grand Theatre, a new, world-class, 1,200-seat Broadway-style theater, to be located at Shanghai Disney Resort's retail, dining and entertainment area, currently under construction adjacent to Shanghai Disneyland park. This will be the world's first production of THE LION KING performed in Mandarin of Julie Taymor's production, exactly as seen on Broadway and in productions around the world. Casting for the show is scheduled to begin this summer in China with a focus on recruiting and developing local talent.
"We are thrilled to bring Disney's THE LION KING to Shanghai Disney Resort," said Mike Crawford, general manager of Shanghai Disney Resort. "Working with our partners at Disney Theatrical Productions to have the world's most successful and popular stage musical in Mandarin for the first time, here at our 'must-visit' entertainment district, will provide a great centerpiece for the area and an amazing opportunity for our resort Guests. The production of THE LION KING in Mandarin demonstrates our strong commitment to supporting the growth of China's cultural industries, and is an excellent example of how the resort is tailoring the best of Disney with local talent to create world-class entertainment specifically for the people of China."
"It is especially exciting for us to premiere THE LION KING at this brand new theatre at Shanghai Disney Resort, marking our first collaboration with our partners at Disney Parks and Resorts," said Thomas Schumacher, president and producer, Disney Theatrical Productions. "This uniquely Chinese production will be our most ambitious yet, featuring the very best of local talent, who will perform the show for the first time in Mandarin as they bring Julie Taymor's singular theatrical vision to life."
Casting of this entirely new Mandarin production will begin this summer in China and will continue through early 2015. Shanghai Disney Resort has engaged United Asia Live Entertainment to support the casting efforts.
In its 17th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, and is the highest-grossing Broadway show in New York history, as well as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, more than 70 million people around the world have seen the 22 global productions of THE LION KING, which have cumulatively run a staggering 104 years. 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. Translated into eight different languages, productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway and on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan, and in London's West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, and Sydney, Australia. At the time of its opening, the Mandarin production marks the 10th concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show's history. To date, THE LION KING has played 19 countries on every continent except Antarctica.
Shanghai Disney Resort's retail, dining and entertainment area is a key feature of the resort. The area will initially be comprised of a 46,000 square meter pedestrian-access area and will be located next to Shanghai Disneyland, the Resort's Magic Kingdom-style theme park. The area will offer guests unique opportunities to enjoy great Chinese and international dining, shopping and world-class entertainment.
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