On Sunday, May 27, Miami Heat basketball player Dwyane Wade and actress Gabrielle Union attended a performance of Disney's The Lion King at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami. The show runs through June 10. See a photo of the pair with Sydnee Winters (Nala) and Jelani Remi (Simba) below!
Syndee Winters, who plays the loyal lioness "Nala", is a Miami native and graduated from Miami Palmetto Senior High School. Prior to joining THE LION KING North American Tour, Winters worked as a dancer/choreographer throughout Miami. SharRon Williams, an ensemble dancer, was born and raised in Miami and is a graduate of the New World School of the Arts.
The sardonic and deviously cunning "Scar" is played by J. Anthony Crane. Dionne Randolph is "Mufasa," the great warrior and ruler of the Pridelands. Buyi Zama is the wise baboon shaman "Rafiki." Mark David Kaplan portrays the prim and proper hornbilled bird "Zazu." Ben Lipitz is the carefree warthog "Pumbaa" and Nick Cordileone is the wisecracking meerkat "Timon." Mufasa's son, "Simba," the lion prince born to be king, is played by Jelani Remy.. The three evil hyenas are played by Keith Bennett ("Banzai"), Rashada Dawan ("Shenzi") and Robbie Swift ("Ed"). The role of "Young Simba" is alternated between Zavion J. Hill and Adante Power and the role of "Young Nala" is alternated between Sade Phillip-Demorcy and Kailah McFadden.
The North American touring production of THE LION KING has been seen by over 13.9 million theatergoers and grossed over $920 million to date. Having already played more than 70 cities across North America, THE LION KING now makes its Miami premiere at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the performing arts.
In its 15th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant, recently becoming the highest-grossing Broadway show in history. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 19 productions around the globe have been seen by more than 64 million people, grossed over $4.8 billion and, cumulatively, run a staggering 91 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is the sixth longest running musical in Broadway history and only the second show to produce five productions running 10 or more years.
Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish), the show has been performed in 15 different countries on five continents. Continuing to reign as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world, THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, on stages across North America, on tour in Japan, and in Tokyo, London's West End, Hamburg and Madrid. A UK tour launches in August of this year.
THE LION KING won six 1998 Tony Awards®: Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical, making Taymor the first woman in theatrical history bestowed with the honor.
THE LION KING has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
On stage, Taymor's creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters. Taymor, along with designer Michael Curry, has created hundreds of masks and puppets for THE LION KING. The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed The Lion King animated feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film's screenplay.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice's music from The Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from "Rhythm of the Pride Lands," an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. The resulting sound of THE LION KING is 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."
Other members of the creative team include: Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (Production Supervisor). Anne Quart serves as associate producer.
For more information worldwide, visit LionKing.com. For tickets and information about the Miami engagement, visit www.arshtcenter.org.