James Earl Jones

'The Lion King' returns to Baltimore with its uplifting story, catchy music and intricate puppets

'The Lion King' returns to Baltimore with its uplifting story, catchy music and intricate puppets

When the sun first rose on Pride Rock 20 years ago at the New Amsterdam Theater in New York, as a mandrill named Rafiki summoned all the animals to welcome Simba, newborn lion cub of King Mufasa, the sight caused a stir. It’s still stirring.

Since that opening night on Nov. 13, 1997, “The Lion King” went on to become, at $1 billion-plus, the highest-grossing production in Broadway history; it ranks as the third-longest-running show there.

But this musical, based on the 1994 Disney animated film, could hardly be contained to the Great White Way, where it continues to draw crowds (it moved to the Minskoff Theatre in 2006). “The Lion King” has also been touring constantly for...

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