Broadway's The Lion King Hits 7,000

Can you think of anything you've done 7,000 times? OK, maybe brushing your teeth—if you do it twice a day for 10 years, you get roughly 7,000 cleanings. But my point is that 7,000 is a lot. And on Wednesday, September 3, The Lion King on Broadway will mark its 7,000th performance. Also a ginormous milestone? Alton Fitzgerald White (aka Mufasa) celebrated his 4,000th show last Saturday. That cat's got some serious stamina.

L to R: Gareth Saxe (Scar) and Alton Fitzgerald White (Mufasa) in The Lion King
(photo by Joan Marcus)

But back to 7,000. There are only two other shows in history (The Phantom of the Opera and Chicago) to make that milestone. Audiences have heard baby Simba sing in nine languages: In addition to English, it's been translated into Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese. The only continent the production has yet to visit is Antarctica. And talk about girl-power: Lion King director and designer Julie Taymor became the first woman ever to win the Tony Award for Best Direction a Musical.

Nteliseng Nkhela at the New York Stock Exchange
(Photo by Josh Kuckens/NYSE)

Lately, the show has been making its way around NYC. This morning, Nteliseng Nkhela (Rafiki) rang the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange. And earlier this summer, The Lion King cast took to the A-Train. And if you haven't seen what happened during the long stretch between the 59th and 125th Street stations, I don't want to spoil the fun. Take a look:

Chills, right?

To get details on Broadway tickets and to see if the show's coming to a theater near you, click here.

Dance News
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

We also want you to get social! We'll be factoring social media likes and shares into our final tallies. Be sure to show your favorite finalist some love on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, sharing their profile pages and using the hashtag #DanceSpiritCMS.

Cover Model Search
Photo by Erin Baiano

Imagine attending American Ballet Theatre's prestigious NYC summer intensive, training among classical ballet legends. Imagine taking the stage at New York City Dance Alliance Nationals, competing against some of the country's best contemporary dancers. Now, imagine doing both—at the same time.

Welcome to Madison Brown's world. This summer, she's in her third year as a National Training Scholar with ABT, while also competing for NYCDA's Teen Outstanding Dancer title. (She's already won Outstanding Dancer in the Mini and Junior categories.) The logistics are complicated—ABT's five-week intensive overlaps with the weeklong NYCDA Nationals, which translates to a lot of cabs back and forth across Manhattan—but Maddie is committed to making the most of each opportunity. "I love contemporary and ballet equally," she says. "While I'm able to do both, I want to do as much as I can."

Maddie has an expressive face, endless extensions, and a quiet command of the stage. She dances with remarkable maturity—a trait noted by none other than Jennifer Lopez, one of the judges on NBC's "World of Dance," on which Maddie competed in Season 2. Although Maddie didn't take home the show's top prize, she was proud to be the youngest remaining soloist when she was eliminated, and saw the whole experience as an opportunity to grow. After all, she's just getting started. Oh, that's right—did we mention Maddie's only 14?

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Amblin Entertainment

Steven Spielberg's much-anticipated remake of West Side Storychoreographed by Justin Peck, and starring a bevy of very good dancers—is in production, hooray! And that means it's finally time for us to get a look at the film's cast members in character. Let's break down the first photo from the project.

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