New York | 2h 30m | Open run

The Lion King (NYC)

From 26 critic and 10,685 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Enchanting, Great staging, Delightful, Must see

About the show

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. More…

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.

2h 30m | Open run | Minskoff Theatre (Midtown W)

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


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


"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

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

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

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

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

New York Stage Review

"'The Lion King' was astonishing, in the jaw-dropping manner of speaking. And today, 21 years later, it still is...Taymor, the avant-garde director to whom Disney entrusted the piece, outdid herself...Everything still looks wonderful, and looks practically brand new, too. One of the stunning elements for me, this time through, was the realization of how brilliantly this show moves...The hard-working ensemble is well-drilled and exceptional." 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

New York Stage Review

"It’s Julie Taymor’s puppetry that continues to astound...The problem is that the rest of the musical is not as good as Taymor’s vision for the animals and their gorgeous ensemble numbers...Now, the beauty is there, but the show feels a bit worn...The few big numbers aside, much of the John-Rice score is middling ’90s pop rock...That said, the performances, even now, are rather lovely...But you’re not here for the performances. You’re here for the puppets. And they’re worth it." 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

Epic, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if Love Disney productions.

Don't see it if Don't like Disney movies.

Must see, Masterful, Epic, Exquisite, Absorbing

See it if You want one of the most amazing show experiences of your life!

Don't see it if You live under a rock.

Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Ambitious

See it if It's so creative how they did the puppetry and costumes. One of my favorites, it's not just for families it actually incredible quality.

Don't see it if if you don't like African style music, costumes, and singing.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if If you love Disney... if you love puppetry and amazing stagecraft this is for you!

Don't see it if If you need pitch perfect singing or acting.

Great staging, Great singing, Enchanting, Epic, Ambitious

See it if Just see it. Seriously. Go.

Don't see it if You don't like puppets or Elton John.

Riveting, Great acting, Enchanting

See it if you want to relive the movie

Don't see it if you don't love awesome animals

Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if You love the lion king movie, just sheer enjoyment

Don't see it if You dont le the Lion king

Resonant, Great staging, Clever, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if See it if you like live theatre or The Lion King. It’s a flawless show and I’ve now seen it thrice on Broadway in the past 20 years.

Don't see it if Just see it. I’ve taken boyfriends who calm to hate musicals and they loved it and I went as a child with my parents.

Must see, Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting

See it if Just a beautiful play, great musical.

Don't see it if If you do not like MUSICALS.

Epic, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if A show for everyone. You will be captivated by the costumes and the use of the whole theater in the staging of the play. Must see Broadway.

Don't see it if I can't imagine why anyone should not see this show.

Riveting, Masterful, Great singing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Great show

Don't see it if If you don't like musicals,

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Pure genius and a sensory overload of the spectacular script, costumes and characters

Don't see it if If not into DISNEY and fantasy

Intense, Riveting, Profound, Exquisite, Delightful

See it if You love brilliant stage design and want to be mesmerized by one of the best shows on Broadway. The Lion King is a production for everyone

Don't see it if You are not a fan of Disney tales or do not enjoy fast paced glorious sets and music

Masterful, Must see, Great staging, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if The music, costumes, and performances are all amazing. Vibrant and colorful. Creative set design. See it if you love this Disney classic.

Don't see it if Can’t think of any reason. It’s such a great show fitting for a wide variety of audiences.

Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite, Great acting, Great singing

See it if You love the Lion King, the movie

Don't see it if You don't like animals.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Enjoy being transported into another world with great acting singing and stage design

Don't see it if If you don’t like Disney stories

Absorbing, Delightful, Clever, Ambitious, Edgy

See it if So good

Don't see it if Your not into good shows

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Something you will NEVER want to miss! Lion King musical totally amazed me! It is a great show interact with audience.

Don't see it if Couldn't think of anyone who won't want to watch the show, it is really spectacular.

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging, Masterful

See it if you want to feel the magic, wonder and enchantment you first discovered as a child

Don't see it if I cannot think of a reason not to see it

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Enchanting

See it if FABULOUS

Don't see it if scared of animals

Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite

See it if you love the power of the theatre and masters of their craft working at the top of their game.

Don't see it if You're a true cynic.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Riveting, Must see, Masterful

See it if best show on broadway! worth every penny!

Don't see it if you want to see amazing theatre

Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite, Must see

See it if There’s no “if:” everybody should see this show. Great imagination, staging, orchestrations.

Don't see it if you tend to favor off-off-Broadway plays.

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Must see, Riveting

See it if You love musicals! And see it again!

Don't see it if You do not love musicals. Period!

Absorbing, Enchanting, Must see, Masterful

See it if You like.......Great set design. Wonderful dancing and singing. Very cool effects during the Mufasa scene towards the end

Don't see it if If you don't like being entertained.

Cast & Creatives (17)