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THE LION KING – The Broadway Musical

From set design to costumes, music and performance, Disney’s THE LION KING is memorable, mesmerizing and simply impressive from beginning to end.

The musical returned to Hawaii for an exclusive eight-week engagement Jan. 14 and plays through March 9. It’s the longest and most successful Broadway production ever to come to Hawaii, with more than 180,000 people seeing it in Hawaii during its 2007 engagement.


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Ensemble dancer/singer Amyia Burrell with her Grasslands costume. Burrell, who has 14 costume changes in the show, including Lioness, Hyena, Zebra and Wildebeest, has been with THE LION KING for seven years

Here, MidWeek gets an exclusive backstage look at some of the elaborate costumes, including Rafiki, which is one of the heavier costumes, a Lioness, Simba and Grassland.

Tickets range from $33 to $95 (plus applicable fees) and are available at LionKing.com, the Blaisdell Center box office, all TicketMaster outlets or by calling toll-free 866-870-2717.

Also this month, Disney Theatrical Productions will host open-call auditions at Ballet Hawaii (777 S. Hotel St., Ste. 101) for possible future replacements for both the Broadway and North American touring productions of Disney’s THE LION KING. The casting search will be overseen by casting director Mark Brandon, and male and female singers and dancers of all cultural backgrounds are encouraged to audition.

They are seeking strong, dynamic singers between ages 18 and 35 for all roles, including the African lions Simba and Nala. Auditions take place Feb. 16 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Singers must bring sheet music of a song that shows off their voice and range in 16 bars (standard, classic R&B); pianist is provided. Singers should not perform standard Broadway theater music or material from THE LION KING. Also, bring a recent picture and resume.

They also are looking for strong female dancers of all cultural backgrounds between 18 and 30 years old with classical and modern dance background. Auditions for female dancers takes place Feb. 17 at 9:30 a.m.

Strong male dancers of all cultural backgrounds ages 18 to 30 with classical and modern dance background can audition Feb. 18 at 9:30 a.m. Some male dancers require strong acrobatic skills.

Male and female dancers must be warmed up and ready to dance at their respective date and time in flat jazz shoes or bare feet. Dancers may be asked to sing, so bring sheet music and prepare a song that shows off your voice and range. Dancers also should bring a recent picture and resume, or a list of performance experience.

For more information, visit lionkingcasting.com.


* Puppets in the show are made at puppet shops in Toronto and Oregon

* The costumes are made at five costume shops in New York.

* On stage, there are 250 costumes in the show every night, but they travel with 350 costumes.

* Costumes were brought here on five 757 cargo planes.

* All costumes are designed by show director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor, who won a Tony Award for Best Costume Design. She also won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Musical (making her the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor).

* Costumes are all handmade, and every costume is custom made to fit each performer.

Photos by Nathalie Walker