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  • 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

    Posted: Tue., Sep. 30, 2008, 1:27pm PT

    'Lion King' to roar in Vegas

    Musical opening at Mandalay Bay in May '09

    By Gordon Cox
    Variety

    "The Lion King" will pounce on Vegas in the spring, with the legit tuner opening a sit-down production at the Mandalay Bay in May.

    Unlike many Broadway musicals that play Sin City, "King" will be seen in its full-length, original version rather than a 90-minute cut. Show is set to occupy the theater soon to be vacated by "Mamma Mia!," which wraps up a nearly six-year run there Jan. 4.

    The Disney Theatrical production joins a local legit landscape that includes fellow Broadway vets "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Jersey Boys," along with a slew of Cirque du Soleil offerings such as "O," "Ka,"Mystere" and "Love."

    Rialto shows have a mixed track record in Vegas, with some musicals carving out successful runs while others (such as "Avenue Q" and "Hairspray") fail to attract crowds.

    Tuners that last in the desert tend to be those with high global profiles like "Mamma" and "Phantom"in that respect "Lion King" has an advantage. Based on the 1994 Disney animated pic, the show nabbed six Tonys in 1997 and has gone on to play around the world, including current incarnations in London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Fukuoka, as well as a U.S. tour.

    Less certain is how a family-friendly offering like "King" will play with the largely adult crowds that populate Vegas hotels and casinos.
    Entertainment news, movie reviews, awards, festivals, celebrity photos, industry events - Variety
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

    Awesome. I saw the Lion King Musical a few years back, it was something I really enjoyed watching!
    "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined." -Henry David Thoreau

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    • #3
      Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

      I'm not sure it'll succeed. I mean, it doesn't seem "Vegas" enough.

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      • #4
        Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

        ok Disney has been figuring out how to get a presence in LV - I'm not sure I like this, family-friendly Disney in adult-friendly LV, but I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it pans out. It should definitely not go the theme park route or anything approximating it.

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        • #5
          Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

          I loved The Lion King when I saw it at the Pantages, so hopefully I'll get the opportunity to see it again now!

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          • #6
            Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

            I think it will do well, its different and there is nothing else like it really on the Strip.
            Web-hosting: 3dxhosting.com | Blog: anthonyhays.com | Pictures: Flickr | Facebook: Cakvala
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            • #7
              Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

              Mandalay Bay is the perfect choice for it, they'll do it up big time there.
              Their Mandalay Beach dive-in movies and concert series could also be great opportunities for Disney to hit Nevada.
              "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

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              • #8
                Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                I hope it does good. I loved it when I saw it in Los Angeles.
                Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally
                Golly, what a day

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                • #9
                  Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                  I actually think this will be quite successful in Vegas.

                  They have been trying to turn Vegas back into the "Adult-Playground" but people still do take their kids there.

                  We never saw Lion King, but I definitely think we'll make a trip out there to do so.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                    This play is big time, in music, costume and props. I saw it on tour in Tulsa; it's incredible. It will do well in LV. A nice family alternative.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                      As a Vegas local (lived here for a little over 15 years now) I think King will do quite well here. In my experience, Vegas seems to go in phases. It shifts from playing up the "adult" side (What Happens In Vegas...you know the rest) to trying to lure the entire family. Though some family-friendly attractions, such as MGM Grand's short- lived theme park don't succeed, others such as Mamma Mia and FAO Schwartz do. And especially in today's financial climate, most Vegas resorts seem to be trying to attract anyone they can get on the books.

                      In terms of a full-length version of the show replacing Mamma, I am very glad to see it. Mamma Mia is one of few Broadway transplants to play The Strip in its entirety and I'm glad to see another show replacing it without succumbing to the 90-minute cut that most shows are subject to. I think that will be a major factor in the shows success, as many people I have talked to would rather not spend the cash on a trimmed version of a show in Vegas when they can easily take in the full-length show on their next NYC trip. Even more common as shows take full-size productions to LA and Chicago on a regular basis now.
                      I worked at Walt Disney World as a member of the Disney College Program in Spring 2008 and Summer 2010. Now, I build software, design live events, and frequently make the short trek from Costa Mesa to Disneyland with my Annual Passport in hand.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                        Call me crazy but there's this great big casino just a mile down from Mandalay with a great big huge lion out front, lions that you can watch and even get your picture with and a lion logo on pretty much everything inside of it, wouldn't a show called lion king mesh well there? I know Mamma Mia's contract is expiring and KA probably isn't going anywhere any time soon but, I think Mandalay Bay I think sharks, I think MGM Grand I think Lions. Just me I guess.

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                        • #13
                          Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                          Megastrophy

                          Very seldom do you see a show that matches its location. Especially a show brought in from outside. At Venetian they have Phantom, which just so happens to be a perfect fit. But next door at the Palazzo they have Jersey Boys, a show about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons.

                          From a Disney standpoint, it certainly doesn't make much sense. But the majority of the visitors here separate a hotel's themeing and decor from the entertainment featured there. And I'll be honest, I seldom associate the Shark
                          Reef with Mandalay Bay. I think its more commonly known as host to five of the best restaurants on the strip as well as a top-three pool and beach.
                          I worked at Walt Disney World as a member of the Disney College Program in Spring 2008 and Summer 2010. Now, I build software, design live events, and frequently make the short trek from Costa Mesa to Disneyland with my Annual Passport in hand.

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                          • #14
                            Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                            I think shows very much used to match their theme in Las Vegas, but their going with this whole non theme theme thing right now which is why they are de-egyptianing the Luxor, which is silly, why not stick to a theme? It's a pyramid for pete's sake. I'm against the de-theming movement, hopefully it's not contagious.
                            Plus the Mamma Mia theater really isn't that big, which means more expensive ticket prices to make a profit, anyway it is where it is, as I said before it's just silly. Also I think Mandalay Bay I think shark reef I think most people with children in Las Vegas do, I have not heard good things about their restaurants or over-crowded pool.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 'The Lion King' will roar in Las Vegas

                              I feel like the theme bubble we saw a while back is beginning to pop. From Excalibur and Circus Circus on it seemed every hotel had to have a theme or a hook. Now, that hook has been replaced with stylish architecture in the case of Wynn and the upcoming CityCenter. I'm sure they will be more themed hotels opening up, but not in the same prevalence as we once saw.
                              I worked at Walt Disney World as a member of the Disney College Program in Spring 2008 and Summer 2010. Now, I build software, design live events, and frequently make the short trek from Costa Mesa to Disneyland with my Annual Passport in hand.

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