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:
To get details on Broadway tickets and to see if the show's coming to a theater near you, click here.
Pop-up stores, puppets and The Lion King: These are a few of my favorite things. So imagine my glee when I discovered there's a new exhibit in NYC that combines all three. (Squee!)
"Inside The Lion King" is a pop-up exhibit currently taking over the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue, near Bryant Park. Inside there are 86 museum-quality "artifacts" from the Broadway production of The Lion King, which is celebrating 15 years in NYC. You can get up close and personal with a giant elephant puppet, take a photo in a 5' wildebeest mask, and participate in special workshops that delve into the musical's choreography, design and storytelling. It is, in short, totally awesome.
The exhibit is free and open from 10 am - 8 pm, but only until December 16. So you might want to take a break from your holiday shopping to check it out. (Hakuna matata—you'll get it all done!)