Encore Michigan

‘Lion King’ roars in Grand Rapids

News December 05, 2019 Bridgette Redman

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.–Disney’s The Lion King and Broadway Grand Rapids are celebrating a record breaking sold-out engagement which ended on Sunday, December 1.  The triumphant two-week premiere engagement grossed more than $2.9 million at the box office and entertained more than 35,000 theatergoers.  The production, which played 16 performances at DeVos Hall from November 20 through December 1, broke the box office sales record for a two-week touring Broadway engagement in Grand Rapids.

It is estimated that the Grand Rapids engagement of The Lion King generated an economic benefit of more than $9 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 3.21 times the gross ticket sales to the local metropolitan area’s economy. 

The Lion King was a magical experience!” said Mike Lloyd, Executive Director for Broadway Grand Rapids.  “The Grand Rapids premiere of this wonderful Disney production started our holiday season with warmth and excitement. The theater was packed for every performance. Our audiences were enthralled, mesmerized by the music, the voices, and imaginative staging– like nothing they had ever seen before. Everyone felt the love!”

“What a delight to finally bring The Lion King to Grand Rapids,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic Touring and Regional Engagements, Disney Theatrical Productions. “We are overwhelmed by the response to the show and thank the Grand Rapids community and Broadway Grand Rapids for a sensational run.”

The North American touring productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 20 million theatergoers in over 80 cities throughout North America.  


After 22 landmark years on Broadway, The Lion King continues ascendant as one of the most popular stage musicals in the world.  Since its premiere on November 13, 1997, 25 global productions have been seen by more than 100 million people.  Produced by Disney Theatrical Productions (under the direction of Thomas Schumacher), The Lion King has made theatrical history with three productions worldwide running 15 or more years and three others running 20 or more years.  Performed over its lifetime in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese), productions of The Lion King can currently be seen on Broadway; London’s West End; Hamburg; Tokyo; Madrid; on tour across North America, Japan and The U.K. & Ireland, with a separate production touring internationally, for a total of nine productions running concurrently across the globe.  Having played over 100 cities in 20 countries on every continent except Antarctica, The Lion King’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show or other entertainment title in box office history.          

Week of 3/23/2020

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