Disney's Broadway musical, The Lion King, is one of the biggest and most beloved theater shows of all time. Last week, it was announced that the show is the first Broadway show ever to gross more than $1 billion in revenue. As of Oct. 6, the show was at $997 million, but by the end of October, that number will grow to more than $1 billion.
It's an amazing feat, especially for a show that's not even the longest-running production in Broadway's history. (That title belongs to The Phantom of the Opera, which has been on Broadway since 1988 — nearly 10 years longer than "The Lion King.") Part of what made The Lion King such a strong money-maker is that in its run, the musical has only dropped under 80 percent audience capacity less than 12 times.
Here are a few facts about The Lion King, the highest-grossing musical of all time:
- The Lion King opened on Broadway in 1997 (Nov. 13, 1997, to be exact). Its previews began Oct. 15, 1997.
Although they don't often come up in the public consciousness as much as, say, Broadway, ice shows are quite popular. In fact, the Disney On Ice series has collectively been the single biggest theater ticket seller on TicketNetwork.com for the last year, accounting for approximately 1/5 of all theater ticket sales. Affordable tickets and family-friendly content has helped drive those sales, making the series a perfect option for families looking for something to see with their kids.
With that said, why don't we see more of these shows? Surely if Disney can make it work, anybody can? Okay, so there's the whole thing about taking a stage show and adding ice, but I think the idea has widespread potential, especially if it's something somebody can relate to...like comedy. So here are three comedic movies that might do well as ice shows.
Plot: For those who don't know, The Mask is a 1994 film starring Jim Carrey. In the film, Carrey's character finds a mask belonging to Norse god Loki, which imbues the wearer with magical powers and a mischievous, trickster temperament. It was very popular among both kids and adults, and remains so today. Along with Ace Ventura and Dumb and Dumberer, which were also released the same year, it pretty much established Carrey's career, as well as that of co-star Cameron Diaz's.
Why It'd Work: Ice is a perfect medium to use when you need to do things quickly and "The Mask" is nothing if not quick moving. When donning Loki's mask, Stanley Ipkuss turns into a huge spaz, moving from one place to another in the blink of an eye. Also, most of the shows that are now on ice are musical in nature, and The Mask is already partially a musical itself, as one of the movie's key scenes is a comedic musical number. Finally, the movie was rated PG-13, but is innocuous enough that it still could be seen by adults and older kids.
Last time I wrote about Aladdin on Broadway, the announcement had just been made that it would officially open in 2014. But 2014 felt like a long, long time away. Now we're in September and 2014 will be here before we know it.
To bide our time until we can see the show on stage, here are some recently released details about the production:
- Aladdin will take over the former Mary Poppins home at New Amsterdam Theatre.
- Previews start February 26, with an opening night scheduled for March 20.
- The Broadway rendition will feature a book by Chad Beguelin, music by Oscar and Tony winner Alan Menken (!!), lyrics by Tim Rice and the late Howard Ashman and direction and choreography by The Book of Mormon Tony winner Casey Nicholaw.
- Previews start February 26, with an opening night set for March 20.
- There will be a pre-Broadway premiere at Toronto's Ed Mirvish Theatre from Nov. 13, 2013 through Jan. 12, 2014
Will you be seeing Aladdin? And what other Disney productions might you like to see on Broadway?
"I Love Lucy" is easily one of the most iconic shows of all time. So it's no surprise that I Love Lucy Live Onstage exists, has won several awards, and will be kicking off the next leg of its tour tonight in North Carolina.
The show puts audiences in the role of the "studio audience" as they watch famous "I Love Lucy" episodes be filmed right there on stage. The production is set up like a television set on the old Desilu Playhouse sound stage, film cameras and all.
Since I Love Lucy Live Onstage uses old "Lucy" episodes as its basis, here are 5 of the show's most memorable moments.
Denzel Washington is having a pretty good week — and it's only Monday. His latest movie, "2 Guns," a buddy cop-esque film starring Washington and Mark Whalberg, was number 1 at the box office this weekend (preview at left). It beat out "The Wolverine" and "Smurfs 2." On top of that, the actor announced he would be returning to Broadway in A Raisin in the Sun.
Washington will have the lead in the production as Walter Younger. It'll be his second time on Broadway, following his 2010 role in Fences (a performance that earned him a Tony Award). Previews for A Raisin in the Sun will start March 8, 2014, with opening night on April 3, 2014, at the Barrymore Theatre where the original production opened 55 years ago.
What do you think? Will you go see him on stage?