"Lion King" roaring into Milwaukee

There are currently seven productions of Disney's "The Lion King" worldwide; New York, two United States National Tours (one that stops at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center next month), London, Hamburg, Tokyo and Seoul. Upcoming productions include Johannesburg, South Africa beginning June 2007 and Paris beginning September 2007.

Yet the winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical has never made its way to Milwaukee. But, it will in 2008. And, it will be a creative partnership for two entities that both book Broadway productions. The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts has an exclusive agreement with Live Nation, the promoter, and has been working for years to bring the blockbuster production to Milwaukee.

"We've had a booking advisory with Disney two times in the past," said Heidi Lofy, marketing vice president for the Marcus Center. But, due to the magnitude of the production and time that it needs to set up and tear down, long blocks of time were hard to schedule. So, in a true things happen when they are meant to moment, the Marcus Center and the Milwaukee Theatre made it happen finding the necessary time in February 2008. "It all boiled down to timing," said Lofy.

"We are thrilled to be bringing Disney's 'The Lion King' for its premiere engagement in Milwaukee and season tickets to this incredible season will be available starting in late May," stated Paul Mathews, President of the Marcus Center in a news release distributed today. "In order to avoid disrupting our resident tenants' season schedules, we have made special arrangements with the Wisconsin Center District to present "The Lion King" at the Milwaukee Theatre. This unprecedented arrangement with the Milwaukee Theatre is just the latest example of our commitment to community collaboration."

In addition to "The Lion King," the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts announced the rest of its new season today. The first show of the season features one of Broadway's most beloved scores, Lerner and Loewe's "My Fair Lady," arrives in Milwaukee directly from its 50th anniversary London production and U.K. national tour.

The Tony-Award winning musical comedy, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" opens Nov. 6.

And, the funny, risque smash-hit, "Avenue Q" sets up beginning Feb. 26, 2008.

The season ends, in April, with the musical comedy, "Monty Python's Spamalot."

Five-show subscription packages go on sale for the new 2007-'08 Broadway Across America in late. Tickets for individual productions typically go on sale to the general public four to six weeks prior to the first performance.


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