Thursday, February 15, 2018

‘Disney’s The Lion King’ gives JAX an economic jolt

Disney’s The Lion King continues to reign across North America with a sold-out run in Jacksonville.  The two-week return engagement at The Times-Union Center grossed over $3.1 million at the box office and entertained more than 44,000 theatergoers during its 16 sold-out performances.  This engagement was the second time for the show at The Times-Union Center.

It is estimated that the
Jacksonville engagement of The Lion King generated an economic benefit of more than $10 million 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 3.52 times the gross ticket sale to the local metropolitan area’s economy.

“Based on our previous experience with the show and its history in other North American cities, we knew that Jacksonville would respond,” said Dr. Milt Russos, executive director of the FSCJ Artist Series/Broadway in Jacksonville.
“The response was overwhelming and far exceeded our expectations; we are delighted that so many enjoyed the production. It was an exciting two weeks for Jacksonville and we look forward to further expanding our relationship with Disney Theatricals.”

“We thank the Jacksonville community and our partners at the FSCJ Artist Series and Broadway Across America for another sensational, sold-out engagement,”
said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions.  “We are humbled by the enduring and extraordinary audience response and look forward to returning to Jacksonville in the future.”

The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 19 million theatergoers in over 70 cities throughout North America.  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.


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