By Melissa Griegel . . .
The Miskoff Theatre at 200 West 45th Street welcomed back cast and creatives to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the show’s opening 25 years ago on November 13t, 1997. The festivities, which took place to the day, on November 13th, 2022, included a star-studded red carpet, a special playbill, a Simba plush toy on everyone’s seats, speeches and special songs, an outdoor concert, and an elaborate after party at Hall de Lumierés.
After the curtain call, Producer Thomas Schumacher spoke to the audience and talked about the amazing journey of the show. Director and Costume, Mask and Puppet Designer Julie Taymor took over to thank everyone for being part of the Lion King experience and brought her fellow creatives up on the stage. In addition to Taymor, the Creative Team in attendance included Choreographer Garth Fagan, Lebo M (Composer), Tim Rice (Lyrics) Roger Allers (Film Co-Director), Irene Mecchi (Book), Michael Curry (Mask and Puppet Design), Richard Hudson (Scenic Design), Donald Holder (Lighting Design), Michael Ward (Hair and Makeup Design), David Metzger (Orchestrations), Rick Sordelet (Fight Director), and Rob Mikoff (Film Co-Director).
The audience, which included numerous former cast members, was treated to two additional songs after the curtain call. Current Young Nala Mariana Diop sang with Kissy Simmons (Nala 2003) along with the current Young Simba Jayden Theophile and Jelani Remy, who has a long history with the show. This was followed by a 25th anniversary song accompanied by “Cub Alumni” with previous Simbas and Nalas singing in the aisles and on stage. Many original cast members attended the show and the after-party, including the original Rafiki, Tsidii Le Loka and the longest-running cast member, Lindiwe Dlamini, who has been with the show for its full 25 years.
Photos by Melissa Griegel
Featured Image: Current Cast