The Lion King ticket sales begin Saturday

Disney Theatrical Productions and East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans announced that tickets for the long-awaited production of Disney’s The Lion King will go on sale Saturday, Nov. 12, at 8 a.m.

Performances at the Mahalia Jackson Theater will be held March 14-April 15, 2012, for a limited engagement of five weeks.

Tickets on sale Saturday are an exclusive in-person event at the Mahalia Jackson Theater Box Office in New Orleans. Tickets will become available by phone and at all Ticketmaster locations at 11 a.m. the same day. The Mahalia Jackson Theater is located in Armstrong Park at 801 N. Rampart St.

Ticket buyers are invited to special box-office opening festivities on Saturday where several hundred ticket buyers are expected in line by 8 a.m. Ticket buyers waiting in line will receive refreshments and have the opportunity to purchase the best seat in the house (while supplies last).

The first person in line will receive a complimentary autographed copy of “How Does the Show Go On?” written and autographed by author Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions and producer of The Lion King. The first 100 ticket buyers will receive a complimentary Lion King Original Broadway Cast Recording CD. All others will receive a complimentary Lion King T-shirt (one item per order, while supplies last).

Ticket prices start as low as $30.25. Premium Ticket Packages, which include prime seat locations, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available.

Beginning Saturday, tickets will be available in person at the Mahalia Jackson Box Office, via phone at 800-982-2787, and online at broadwayinneworleans.com. Orders for groups of 15 or more may be placed by calling 504-287-0372.

In New Orleans, The Lion King will play March 14 through April 15, 2012, on the following schedule:

—Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.

—Saturdays: 2 and 8 p.m.

—**Sundays: 1 and 6:30 p.m.

—There will be special 2 p.m. matinees on Thursday, March 15 and April 12.

**There will not be a 6:30 p.m. performance on Sunday, April 15.

Now in its 14th year, The Lion King remains ascendant, continuing to reign as a cultural phenomenon and one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.

Since its 1997 Broadway premiere, 18 global productions have been seen by more than 60 million people, grossed over $4.6 billion to date and have cumulatively run 83 years.

Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King is the seventh longest-running musical in Broadway history and one of only five productions in theatre history to play for 10 years or more, both on Broadway and in the West End.

It 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.

On stage, Taymor’s creative vision blends elements of African art and Broadway artisanship to depict anthropomorphic animal characters.

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 New Orleans engagement of The Lion King is presented by arrangement with East Jefferson General Hospital Broadway in New Orleans and is a subscription offering of the Broadway Across America Series.

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