Memphian Jaylen Lyndon Hunter to alternate the role of Young Simba
Casting has been announced for the Memphis engagement of Disney’s The Lion King. Memphis’ most eagerly awaited stage production ever will leap onto the Orpheum Theatre stage from Thursday, November 11 to Sunday, November 28.
The production features Spencer Plachy as “Scar,” Gerald Ramsey as “Mufasa,” Gugwana Dlamini as “Rafiki,” Nick Cordileone as “Timon,” Jürgen Hooper as “Zazu,” Ben Lipitz as “Pumbaa,” Darian Sanders as “Simba,” Kayla Cyphers as “Nala,” Keith Bennett as “Banzai,” Martina Sykes as “Shenzi” and Robbie Swift as “Ed.”
The role of “Young Simba” is alternated between Jaylen Lyndon Hunter and Charlie Kahler and the role of “Young Nala” is alternated between Nia Mulder and Kalandra Rhodes.
Rounding out the cast are Derek Adams, Kayla Rose Aimable, Sandy Alvarez, William John Austin, Eric Bean, Jr., Kalilah Black, TyNia René Brandon, Sasha Caicedo, Sean Aaron Carmon, Kyle Robert Carter, Thembelihle Cele, Adrianne Chu, Daniela Cobb, Lyric Danae, Paige Fraser, Tony Freeman, Mukelisiwe Goba, Jamal Lee Harris, Alia Kache, Jane King, Gabisile Manana, Christopher L. McKenzie, Jr., Marq Moss, Nhlanhla Ndlovu, Aaron Nelson, Sihle Ngema, Sicelo Ntshangase, Sayiga Eugene Peabody, Kevin Petite, Yael Pineda-Hall, Nathan Andrew Riley, Maurica Roland, Christopher Sams, Jennifer Theriot, Courtney Thomas and Shacura Wade.
In Memphis, The Lion King will play Tuesdays through Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm and Sundays at 1pm and 6:30pm. There will be 2pm matinees on Wednesday, November 24 and Friday, November 26. There will not be a performance on Thursday, November 25 (Thanksgiving) and there will not be a 6:30pm performance on Sunday, November 28. Premium Ticket Packages, which include a prime seat location, a souvenir program and an exclusive cinch bag, are also available. Tickets are available by calling the Orpheum Box Office at 901.525.3000 or Ticketmaster.com. Orders for groups of ten (10) or more may be placed by emailing email@example.com.
The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 20 million theatergoers. Having already played more than 90 cities across North America, The Lion King now proudly returns to Memphis at the Orpheum Theatre.
The safety of patrons, performers, staff, and volunteers is top priority, and the Orpheum Theatre Group has put procedures and practices in place to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Please review these carefully at orpheum-memphis.com/covid19.
ABOUT THE LION KING
Approaching 24 landmark years on Broadway, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by nearly 110 million people. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King has made theatrical history with six productions worldwide running 15 or more years, with four of those running 20 or more years.
Performed over its lifetime in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), by the end of 2021, there will be ten productions of The Lion King around the world, including Broadway, London, Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, on tour across North America, Japan and the U.K. & Ireland, with a separate production touring internationally. Having played over 100 cities in 21 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.
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. 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.
The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success. The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor supervises new productions of the show around the world.
The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs 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 Lebo M’s rich choral numbers.
Elton John, Lebo M, and Hans Zimmer all collaborated on the 2019 version of the film, executive produced by Julie Taymor and Thomas Schumacher, which has gone onto extraordinary worldwide success.
The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated The Lion King feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay. Other members of the creative team include: Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), Anthony Lyn (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer.