After over two months of rehearsals, the excitement in Manila is building as the world’s number one musical begins performances this weekend at The Theatre at Solaire. The first international tour of “The Lion King” kicks off in the Philippines before additional engagements in Singapore, Korea and Taiwan.
Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions and presented by Michael Cassel Group and Concertus Manila, the beloved Disney animation turned into live production runs from March 18 until May 6. Co-presenting sponsors in Manila are Globe and Visa.
The principal cast includes Ntsepa Pitjeng who is returning to the role of Rafiki, having performed the role in the USA, UK, Brazil, and Switzerland productions. Direct from London’s West End production is Mthokozisi Emkay Khanyile in the role of Mufasa. Also from the United Kingdom is music theatre performer Antony Lawrence as Scar.
Australian actor André Jewson is Zazu; the charismatic New Zealand-born performer Jamie McGregor plays Timon and South African favorite Pierre Van Heerden returns as Pumbaa.
Joining the company are six Filipino actors. Sharing the role of Young Simba are Julien Joshua Dolor Jr., Gabriel Tiongson, and Omar Sharief Uddin while the role of Young Nala is shared by Sheena Kirsten Bentoy, Uma Naomi Martin and Felicity Kyle Napuli.
Rounding out the principal cast are South African performers Calvyn Grandling as Simba, the up-and-coming star Noxolo Dlamini as Nala, Candida Mosoma as Shenzi, Bjorn Blignaut as Banzai and Mark Tatham as Ed.
The ensemble is composed of Chachano Báez, Dayan Kingsley Beukes, Tertia Coetzee-Dippenaar, Viridiana Cortés, Felipe Flores, Jabulani Gambu, Liso Gcwabe, Sheila Hernández, Phumelele Jili, Christine Kapswarah, Amanda Kunene, Sfiso Matlala, Lungile Mkhize, Fumane Moeketsi, Noluyanda Mqulwana, Zodwa Mrasi, Lwazi Mzimase, Zolina Ngejane,
Thato Nkwe, Thabani Ntuli, Peace Nzirawa, Nonofo Olekeng, Angeles Reyes, Khanyisani Shoba, Phumelele Sikhakhane, Romy Jo Swales, Clifford Tlomatsana, Vuyelwa Tshona, Tlholo Tsotetsi, Benn Welford, Zi-Rong Wu, Daniel Zazueta, Monde Zondi, and Sandile Zondi.