Open run

The Lion King

Members say: Entertaining, Enchanting, Great staging, Delightful, Must see
24 reviews
9178 reviews

In Julie Taymor's Tony Award winning retelling of Disney's animated hit, puppets and live actors weave a dreamscape of jungle characters, creating the story of young Simba's rise to the throne.

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The award-winning stage adaptation of the 1994 Disney film, 'The Lion King' tells the story of a young lion prince, Simba. He idolizes his father, the king Mufasa, while at the same time youthfully shirks the responsibility his position in life requires. When an unthinkable tragedy orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, takes Mufasa’s life, Simba must fulfill his destiny to be king. 'The Lion King' is the winner of 6 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

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Cast & Creatives (62)

Reviews (9202)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

The New York Times

"You can only marvel at the exotic procession of animals before you: the giraffes and the elephants and the hippopotamuses and all those birds in balletic flight. These are creatures of air and light and even a touch of divinity. Where are you, really, anyway? Somehow you have fallen into what appears to be a primal paradise. Such is the transporting magic wrought by the opening 10 minutes of ''The Lion King.''" Full Review

Time Out New York

"Taymor populates the stage with an amazing menagerie of beasts; her audacious staging expands a simple cub into the pride of Broadway, not merely a fable of heredity but a celebration of heritage." Full Review

St. Petersburg Times

"The Lion King is a spectacular rendition of the animated film, a brilliant theatrical adaptation that stands on its own...Taymor has risen to the challenge, translating the physically complex tale to the stage with an endlessly clever, visually stunning use of masks, puppetry, costumes and scenic effects; the stage show has the delighted audience firmly in its grip." Full Review


"The opening scene unfolds with moment after giddy moment of astonishment. South African choral harmonies, with their calming and yet exuberant rhythms of attack and release, seem to come from everywhere in the darkness. A magical rich jungle parade." Full Review

The Associated Press

"Make no mistake: The Lion King is a rare theater experience. The musical is intelligent spectacle, extravagance with a purpose -- and a heart. From the moment it begins, The Lion King offers astonishing stage magic. Performers walking on giant stilts become giraffes, birds, and a pride of lionesses, dance with a solemn gracefulness that is breathtaking." Full Review


"A stunning stage event. Combining a graceful horde of actors, singers and dancers with a stylized world of fantastic puppets and theatrical wonderment." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"You will be bombarded by some of the most beautiful and spectacular sights theater can offer from before and behind, so eyes in the back of the head will come in handy. Full Review

Washington Times

"A bold work of art, and stylistically the most daring piece of theater, to hit mainstream musicals in years. You gotta love it - and judging by the roars at a preview performance for critics and insiders last week, Broadway does. "The Lion King" - arguably the most expensive puppet show in history - is a long, imperfect musical. But it is also a dazzling, one-of-a-kind entertainment." Full Review

Broadway Voice

"Watching the faces of all the actors as they dance and sing with their puppet counterpoints make this show an enchanting evening of enjoyment for just about any age audience." Full Review

Columbus Dispatch

"Breathtaking moments abound: The wildebeests stampede directly toward the audience, growing ever bigger; fish and eels swim through a river; the heat of an African drought evaporates a shrinking lake; and the second act opens with multicolored birds flying above and through the theater." Full Review

Sarasota Herald Tribune

"The opening number alone is enough to send you leaping from your seat. With bursting sunrises, a stampede, and comical interactions among the diverse characters...The Lion King offers enough eye candy to satisfy audiences inured to lavishness by rising helicopters and crashing chendeliers." Full Review

USA Today

"From the very first minutes of The Lion King, you feel yourself on new ground -- no, in a whole new world....When The Lion King is good, it's enthralling." Full Review

Flying the Nest

"The Lion King musical is a great starter drug to the theatre world as the familiarity can give you a very enjoyable night out. If you are a Disney fan or theatre fan it is hard not to recommend going to see the show. If you don’t like theatre – why not give it a try." Full Review


"One comes away with a sense of having witnessed a dazzling kaleidoscope of perfection, both in performance and in spectacle, yet with the profound satisfaction of experiencing something beyond theatre. To say the effect is breathtaking is an understatement, it is overwhelming." Full Review

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"Taymor's creation is a breathtaking visual and aural feast that begins with a thrilling opening scene so euphoric the rest of the show is almost anticlimactic. The animal kingdom has never been so spectacularly re-created on a stage." Full Review

Post and Courier

"To see "The Lion King," winner of the 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical, is not only to witness a groundbreaking combination of music, scenery and puppeteering, but also to be made aware that every living being, from the largest elephant to the smallest bird, is connected in some way." Full Review


"It is a wonderfully colorful spectacle with some of the most imaginative staging you are ever likely to see." Full Review

Denver Post

"The dramatically imaginative "The Lion King" is perhaps the most visually amazing production ever seen on stage...Heart-grabbing and jaw-dropping, "The Lion King" inspires awe from its opening moment." Full Review

Virginian Pilot

""The Lion King,'' with its life-sized puppets, tribal drums and revolving scenery, is not a product of re-creation but one of creation...Julie Taymor has kept the basic plot of the 1994 cartoon movie while expanding it into a purely theatrical form all its own." Full Review

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

"A powerful multicultural cast that steals your breath and makes you feel your heart will burst with pleasure.Taymor's use of elegantly ingenious puppetry obliterates the realistic theater as we know it and takes us to exotic new places. Every performance is a standout." Full Review

Syracuse Herald Journal

"Disney delivers razzle dazzle, plus pomp and pageantry..."The Lion King" needs it. The coming-of-age story is about as fresh as yesterday's bread and as tiny as one of those sidekicks in Disney's animated film." Full Review

Plain Dealer

"If you liked the film of "The Lion King," you will not be disappointed by the Broadway musical. And if you have not been a Disney fan you will be knocked out by this transformation of an animated film to a live theater piece." Full Review

Street Directory

"The show is a visual masterpiece...The characters are as lovable and enduring as in the film." Full Review

Family Vacation Critic

"So come find out what all the fuss is about, and re-introduce the kids to all their favorite characters -- Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Zazu and of course, Timon and Pumbaa -- in a vibrant, colorful and magical new way." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
Avg Score

Clever, Masterful, Must see, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You would like to see inventive costume design and staging, haven't yet seen it because it's a classic!

Don't see it if You do not enjoy Disney musicals.

Ambitious, Enchanting, Overrated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You loved the movie and it's songs or like inventive animal costumes.

Don't see it if You're hoping to be wowed. TBH, it isn't my favorite Disney movie anyway, but I found the show to be quite dated. Wish staging was refreshed

Ambitious, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging, Fluffy

See it if you want to relive your childhood and listen to the classic music. Or even just to experience the show, which is exquisite.

Don't see it if you are expecting a "grown-up" show, it's still very much geared towards children. If you can't lose yourself into the illusion of puppetry

Great singing, Great staging, Amazing puppetry

See it if great for families, this is a lovely amalgam of the movie and a Broadway show. Really not to be missed.

Don't see it if you don't like singing and dancing animals or you're anti-Disney.

Magical colorful production -

See it if you must, and if you have youngsters who know the story.

Don't see it if you don't like cartoon characters.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Epic, Masterful, Great staging

See it if You love the movie! The staging and coustumes are amazing!

Don't see it if You don't enjoy the movie

Absorbing, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You loved the movie and want to see more of the same

Don't see it if You're expecting anything new or different from the movie. It's basically the same, just live. Which is a good thing.


See it if you still haven't seen it and are curious about what all the fuss was about in '98 or if you love the film.

Don't see it if you're a cynic. You'll find reason to be unimpressed.

Epic, Overrated

See it if you want to waste your money on something that once was groundbreaking and now is just tired.

Don't see it if you realize there are actually good shows currently playing on broadway.

Ambitious, Clever, Epic, Great staging, Imaginative

See it if loud, creative, & BIG is what you're craving. It's beautiful, w/recognizable music (of course) & memorable. An epic night of non-stop magic.

Don't see it if you LOVE the movie. Can be said for many, but there is NOTHING like Lion King's original & brilliant LIVE choreography & orchestrations.

Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Masterful, Great staging

See it if you're a Disney fan

Don't see it if you cringe at less-than-stellar kid singing

Entertaining, Great costumes, Great staging

See it if You're a fan of the songs from the movie. Though the presentation is different, the songs remain the same.

Don't see it if You're anti-Disney.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you are artistic, creative and open to the wonder of Julie Taymor's creatures. A brilliant use of costuming,mechanics, and dance.

Don't see it if there is no wonder in your heart! It is a voyage to a childlike space of possibility populated by creatures of imagination.

Enchanting, Masterful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you haven't seen it. It's great.

Don't see it if you hate musicals.

Clever, Quirky, Dated, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you enjoy disney musicals, cleaver costumes.

Don't see it if you are not a musical person, do not like disney or the movie, or do not want children at the theatre.

Delightful, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if want to see inventive staging with good Elton John songs.

Don't see it if if you are expecting a riveting story.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You have seen and liked the movie.

Don't see it if You saw the movie and didn't like it

Ambitious, Enchanting, Epic, Overrated, Great singing

See it if You want to see an imaginative and lively musical.

Don't see it if People dressed as animals freaks you out.

Absorbing, Magical, Mesmerizing

See it if you love Disney, elaborate productions with incredible company vocals, a flawless score, puppetry, and/or jaw-dropping choreography.

Don't see it if you dislike musicals or Hamlet.

Beautiful, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Fun

See it if You're a Disney fan, and/or you want to see beautiful costumes, puppetry, & staging. You don't mind some cheesy moments.

Don't see it if Not a fan of Disney. Not a fan of kids or musicals geared towards kids (it does have plenty of appeal for adults).

Also Orchestra seats for "Circle of Life" alone are worth the price of admi... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Overrated, Predictable, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you're ok with this being exactly what you think it is; the movie brought to stage. It is nothing more & nothing less, but does entertain.

Don't see it if you want a unique theater experience; this isn't that.

Ambitious, Epic, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see a sweeping, visually impressive live version of the Disney film.

Don't see it if you didn't like the film, don't want a show with an audience full of young children and tourists, or you hate Disney.

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if Enjoy big colorful clever productions.

Don't see it if Want to see a true drama with adult themes.

Creative, Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Fantastic costumes

See it if you want to see fantastic costumes, an exceptional entrance of bigger than life animal creations dancing through the aisles onto the stage.

Don't see it if you don't have a kid inside you or a kid going to the show with you. There are lots of kids in the audiences, sometimes noisy.

Also I took my six year old granddaughter to see this show on her first vis... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Exquisite, Masterful, Great staging

See it if If you like a great musical spectacle

Don't see it if No reason not to see it