The Lion King roars into Bangkok

A scene from The Lion King. (Photo: Matthew Murphy)

Barely six months away, the world's number one musical The Lion King will be in town to capture the hearts of musical lovers in Bangkok for one month starting on Sept 14 at the Muang Thai Rachadalai Theatre.

Presented by BEC-Tero Scenario, this will be the longest run for an international musical in the Kingdom and also the first chance to witness what is hailed as a perfect marriage of entertainment and art.

The landmark Broadway musical The Lion King has established a new level of artistry for musical theatre from staging, costumes and choreography, which are reminiscent of the vast savannahs of Africa and its distinctive animal characters.

Lasting 2.5 hours with one intermission, Disney's The Lion King is greatly shaped by African music and arts, with six indigenous African languages sung and spoken throughout the show -- Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana and Congolese.

The audience can expect to listen to a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award-winning song Can You Feel The Love Tonight to the haunting ballad Shadowland. Since its premiere in 1997, 25 global productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 95 million people worldwide. It won six Tony Awards in 1998 and has earned more than 70 major arts awards.

Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent, the musical's worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions, the musical has generated six productions worldwide running for more than 15 years and performed in eight different languages -- Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese.

The upcoming show in Bangkok is part of Disney's The Lion King's international tour, which kicked off in the Philippines last March, with additional engagements in Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and South Africa.

A total of 34 shows will be staged daily from Sept 14-Oct 13 (except Monday). The showtime is 7.30pm (6pm on Sunday), plus a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday and a 1pm matinee on Sunday starting on Sept 21.

It will be performed in English with Thai subtitles. The Muang Thai Rachadalai Theatre is located on the 4th floor of The Esplanade, Ratchadaphisek Road. Ticket prices start at 1,500 baht and can be purchased from Thai Ticket Major outlets (visit thaiticketmajor.com or call 02-262-3838).

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