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Disney’s “The Lion King” Broadway Musical Roars into Segerstrom Center Through February 25

The company of “The Lion King.” Photo by Matthew Murphy

Can you feel the love this month at Segerstrom Center for the Arts?

Disney’s “The Lion King” musical that is playing through February 25 at Segerstrom Center has had an extraordinary life on Broadway and around the world.

Since the show premiered in 1997, there have been 28 global productions that played to more than 112 million people. “The Lion King” made theatrical history with three productions worldwide running 20 or more years and two others running 25 or more years. According to press material, “The Lion King’s” worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

“The Lion King” was honored with six 1998 Tony Awards including 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 (Julie Taymor). The Lion King went on to win more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical and the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs 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.

Nick Cordileone (Timon) and John E. Brady (Pumbaa) in “The Lion King.” Photo by Matthew Murphy

For those who have not seen “The Lion King,” it follows the story of Simba, a lion cub who is to succeed his father as king of the Pride Lands but gets tricked into exile and meets outcasts Timon (a meerkat) and Pumbaa (a warthog). As he grows up, Simba learns lessons about the Circle of Life.

In the touring production at Segerstrom Center, Nick Cordileone plays Timon, or rather manipulates a life-size Timon puppet.

Nick Cordileone is Timon in “The Lion King”

“I am motivated to do this show—I love the character and the puppet, he’s articulate and complex,” said Cordileone, who has been touring in “the Lion King” for more than 10 years. That means that Cordileone, who is painted head to toe in green paint as he stands behind his Timon puppet, has had to wash off his carefully applied makeup more than 3,000 times.

“An artist does it for me, it’s intricate and beautiful,” Cordileone said of the greasepaint. “The green color belongs in that ‘Lion King’ world.”

The show’s success is due to the timeless storytelling, said Cordileone, which is why audiences return over and over to see “The Lion King.”.

“There’s always a new generation to see the show. It’s really lovely. The show feels fresh every night. The energy in the theater every night is palpable. We are doing this for all the people that come to see the show. “Watching ‘Circle of Life’ backstage I still get misty no matter how many times I have seen it.”

For tickets to “The Lion King,” visit

The post Disney’s “The Lion King” Broadway Musical Roars into Segerstrom Center Through February 25 appeared first on Newport Beach News.

Source: Newport Beach Independent

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