the biggest shows to come to Las Vegas is Disney’s THE LION
KING. This is also the first ever Disney production in Las
Vegas, demonstrating the fact that we are the entertainment
capital of the world. Also, unlike other Broadway
productions brought to Las Vegas that were cut to fit a
90-minute time slot, THE LION KING is the full 2½ hour
performance including intermission. THE LION KING transports
the audience from their seats to the beauty of Africa and
the majesty of the animals who call it home. It is visually
stunning, the music is inspiring and the storyline touches
the heart about family, betrayal, power and love.
LION KING at Mandalay Bay joins the seven other highly
successful companies of THE LION KING including New York,
London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Fukuoka, as well as the
North American National Tour.
Vegas production is every bit the equal of the spectacular
Broadway experience," said Thomas Schumacher, producer and
president of Disney Theatrical Group. "From the stunning
procession of animals that fill the aisles during 'Circle of
Life' and the wildebeest stampede to the show's climactic
battle, all of the magic of the original vision will be
realized onstage at Mandalay Bay."
Bay is known for offering its guests exciting and
spectacular entertainment options," said Bill Hornbuckle,
president and chief operating officer of Mandalay Bay. "The
addition of THE LION KING, one of the most successful
production shows in history, continues this tradition. We
are certain THE LION KING's international appeal will be
embraced by Las Vegas locals and visitors alike."
Simmons will reprise her role as “Nala,” jumping from six
years on Broadway and touring for 1 ½ years to the stage at
Mandalay Bay. Born in outside of Floral City Florida, 65
miles southeast of Orlando, with a population of 5,000,
Simmons received her musical training in church and also
plays piano and clarinet. She credits her high school drama
teacher with both motivating and pushing her into a dramatic
she has performed and traveled throughout the country, Las
Vegas was never one of her stops but she is excited to be
starring in Disney’s The Lion in Las Vegas. “I think (Las
Vegas) is more glamorous, perhaps because it’s my face on
the billboards but when you think of Las Vegas, you think of
glamour, the big luxurious hotels and the strip and people
really dressing up. People dress up in New York but it is
just different here and I feel more glamorous,” she said.
“The Lion King is a family show. I think it is going to be
really great here because it is something that everyone can
take something from, it is not just a kid’s show. … Just
come and expect to be blown away.”
malevolent "Scar" is played by Thom Sesma, whose credits
include "The Times They Are A-Changin'," "The Man of La
Mancha" and "La Cage Aux Folles" on Broadway. Alton F. White
plays the lion king "Mufasa." Mr. White's credits include
THE LION KING's Broadway company, "Ragtime," "Tommy," "The
Color Purple" and "Miss Saigon" on Broadway. Buyi Zama, a
native of South Africa, is the wise "Rafiki." Ms. Zama has
performed in seven productions of THE LION KING, including
London, Sydney, Melbourne, Shanghai, South Africa, Taipei
and the national tour; her credits also include backing as a
vocalist for artists such as Whitney Houston and Rebecca
son, "Simba," is played by Clifton Oliver, who is an alumnus
of Douglas Anderson School of Arts and has numerous theatre
credits including featured roles in THE LION KING's Los
Angeles production and national tour, in addition to
"Grease," "Rent" and "Wicked" on Broadway.
meerkat "Timon" is played by Damian Baldet, who has appeared
in THE LION KING's national tour in addition to productions
of "Frankenstein," "Attempts on Her Life," "The Rats Are
Getting Bigger" and "Gone Missing." Patrick Kerr, who
portrays "Zazu," appeared as KACL's Noel on "Frasier" and
recently performed in "The Ritz" on Broadway. Adam Kozlowski
portrays "Pumbaa" the warthog and has appeared in "Scrooge"
the musical on national tour.
hyenas are played by Keith Bennett ("Banzai"), an original
cast member of THE LION KING, whose additional credits
include the Broadway productions of "Oh, Kay!" and "The High
Rollers Social and Pleasure Club"; Jacquie Hodges ("Shenzi"),
who has performed off Broadway in "For Colored Girls Who
Have Considered Suicide" and in the national tours of THE
LION KING and "Aida"; and Robbie Swift ("Ed"), acting
graduate from The Theatre School at DePaul University, who
toured nationally with THE LION KING and recently played "Linus"
in the West Coast premiere of "Snoopy."
Performances in the role of "Young Simba" are alternated
between Duane Ervin and Elijah Johnson. The role of "Young
Nala" is alternated between Ruby Crawford and Jade Nelson.
includes nine South African natives; and two ensemble
members, Joseph Rivera and Renata Renee Wilson, from Las
is performed Monday through Thursday evenings at 8 p.m. with
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.
for Disney's THE LION KING at Mandalay Bay are available for
$53, $86 and $113.50. VIP packages, which include premium
seating, a complimentary souvenir program and a
complimentary VIP show merchandise item, are available for
$168.50. Taxes are included in all prices. Tickets can be
purchased at all Las Vegas Ticketmaster locations; through
the box office at 632-7580 or Ticketmaster at (800)
745-3000; and online at: