Marcus Performing Arts Center
Press Release

Disney’s THE LION KING North American Tour Sets Record for Highest-Grossing Week in Milwaukee Theatrical History

Four-Week Return Engagement Concluded on Sunday, December 7 at The Milwaukee Theatre

By - Dec 9th, 2014 11:36 am

Milwaukee, WI (December 9, 2014) – Disney’s THE LION KING set a record for the highest-grossing week in Milwaukee theatrical history with a gross of $1,687,572.60 at The Milwaukee Theatre for the week ending November 30, 2014. This breaks the previous record of $1.6 million set by THE LION KING during its premiere engagement for the week ending March 2, 2008. This four-week return, which concluded on Sunday, December 7, entertained more than 94,000 patrons during 32 performances and generated over $6 million at the box office during the entire run. Group Sales contributed $1,288,500 of the $6 million generated and surpassed the amount generated by groups during the last engagement of THE LION KING.

It is estimated that the Milwaukee engagement of THE LION KING generated a $19 million economic benefit to the city from travel, hotels, restaurants, parking and other businesses patronized by both theatergoers and production staff. This figure is based upon a Touring Broadway League report which found that, on average, Broadway tours contribute an economic impact 3.27 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area’s economy.

“We were thrilled to return to the great city of Milwaukee, where THE LION KING has always been so warmly embraced,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions. “It is sincerely gratifying and overwhelming to see that the response to this theatrical phenomenon was just as strong as when it first premiered in Milwaukee six years ago. We thank the Milwaukee community for another sensational engagement and look forward to returning in the near future.”

“The Marcus Center is in awe of how successful this return of THE LION KING has been in Milwaukee,” said Paul Mathews, President and CEO of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts. “Our thanks go out to all our patrons for making the run such a huge success. As an organization, we strive to build a bridge between cultures and provide a wide range of programming for all. With the assistance of the Milwaukee Theatre, we were able to continue reaching out to new patrons and inspire a new generation of theater goers.”

The North American touring productions of THE LION KING have been seen by more than 15 million theatergoers and grossed over $1 billion to date. After 12 years on the road, THE LION KING continues to play to standing room only houses throughout North America. The current schedule is listed below.

In its 18th year, THE LION KING remains ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world. Since its Broadway premiere on November 13, 1997, 22 global productions have been seen by more than 75 million people and, cumulatively, run a staggering 112 years. Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), THE LION KING is only the second show in history to generate five productions worldwide running 10 or more years. Translated into seven different languages (Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese), productions of THE LION KING can currently be seen on Broadway, London’s West End, Hamburg, Tokyo, Madrid, Sao Paulo, Sydney, Australia and on tour across North America, the U.K., and Japan. The Australian production marks the tenth concurrent worldwide production of THE LION KING, the highest number of productions running at any one time in the show’s history. Having played 19 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 has in recent years supervised new productions of the show around the world.

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.”

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. 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), 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


San Antonio – Majestic Theatre
December 10, 2014 – January 5, 2015

Ft. Lauderdale – Broward Center for the Performing Arts
January 7 – February 1, 2015

Memphis – The Orpheum Theatre
February 3 – March 1, 2015

Louisville – Kentucky Center
March 3 – 29, 2015

Cincinnati – Aronoff Center
March 31 – April 26, 2015

Des Moines – Civic Center
April 28 – May 17, 2015

Philadelphia – Academy of Music
May 20 – June 14, 2015

The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts is owned and partially funded by Milwaukee County.
The Marcus Center has been the premier entertainment destination for Milwaukee and Wisconsin since 1969. It provides the setting for outstanding cultural experiences, where the arts come to life for current and future generations. Located in the heart of the Downtown Theater District, the Marcus Center is a community facility that offers live performance of opera, ballet, children’s theater, symphony and first-class national touring productions. For more information on Broadway shows presented as part of BMO Harris Bank Broadway at the Marcus Center and Broadway Across America-Milwaukee, visit the Marcus Center website at

BROADWAY ACROSS AMERICA is part of the Key Brand Entertainment family of companies which includes and is operated by John Gore (Owner & CEO). BAA is the foremost presenter of first-class touring musicals and plays in North America, operating in 40 markets. As a leading Broadway producer, BAA is dedicated to thedevelopment and production of new and diverse theatre. Current/upcoming productions include Beautiful, Million Dollar Quartet and Pippin. Past productions include Hairspray, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Memphis, Promises, Promises, The Producers, Betrayal and War Horse. is the premier theater website for news, exclusive content and ticket sales. For more information please visit and

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