Playhouse Square Announces Return Engagement of ‘The Lion King’

Disney’s The Lion King US North American Tour, Rafiki Tour cast: Brandon McCall (Simba)

Disney Theatrical Productions and Playhouse Square (Cleveland, OH) announced today that The Lion King is returning to The Forest City for a record-breaking fifth time.

Tickets for the highly anticipated return of Disney’s The Lion King will go on sale to the public on Monday, June 21 at 10:00 AM. The Lion King will begin performances at the KeyBank State Theatre on Friday, October 1 for a limited engagement of 2 weeks (16 performances) through Friday, October 15. The opening night is Tuesday, October 5 at 7:30 PM. 

The Lion King will make its triumphant return to Cleveland at a time when families will be seeking ways to reconnect and create new memories, and what better way to do that than by experiencing this stunning and joyful show together,” said Playhouse Square President & CEO Gina Vernaci. “We are preparing all of Playhouse Square for the safe and healthy return of audiences and performers this fall.” 

“We are thrilled to gather our Lion King family again after so many months apart,” said Jack Eldon, Vice President, Domestic, Disney Theatrical Productions.  “It will be very emotional when we reunite in Cleveland, a city which has greeted us so warmly for the past two decades.  We couldn’t think of a better partner than Playhouse Square to relaunch our beloved tour of The Lion King.” 

In Cleveland, The Lion King will play Tuesdays through Fridays at 8:00 PM, Saturdays at 1:30 PM & 7:30 PM and Sundays at 1:00 PM & 6:30 PM. Premium Ticket Packages, which include prime seat locations, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available. Beginning Monday, June 1, tickets will be available online at To charge tickets, call Playhouse Square Ticket Sales at (216) 241-6000 (Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM). Orders for groups of twenty (20) or more may be placed by calling Playhouse Square Group Services at (216) 640-8600. 

Ticket buyers are reminded that Playhouse Square is the only official retail ticket outlet for all performances of The Lion King at the KeyBank State Theatre. Ticket buyers who purchase tickets from a ticket broker or any third party should be aware that Playhouse Square is unable to reprint or replace lost or stolen tickets and is unable to contact patrons with information regarding time changes or other pertinent updates regarding the performance. 

Playhouse Square and The Lion King will be in compliance with local, county, state and CDC guidelines in place at the time of the performance. They are therefore subject to change, and predicated on full capacity. Should capacity guidelines not change by the time of the performance, flexible options will be available to ticket holders. Ticket holders who do not comply with venue policies will not be admitted. To view Playhouse Square’s current health and safety guidelines, visit  

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


After 23 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.  So far, the show has been performed in nine different languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Spanish, Mandarin and Portuguese).   

By the end of 2021, all nine global productions of The Lion King running at the time of the March 2020 shutdown will return: 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.  Having played over 100 cities in 21 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.            

The Lion King won six 1998 Tony Awards®:  Best Musical, Best Scenic Design (Richard Hudson), Best Costume Design (Julie Taymor), Best Lighting Design (Donald Holder), Best Choreography (Garth Fagan) and Best Direction of a Musical.  The Lion King has also earned more than 70 major arts awards including the 1998 NY Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album, the 1999 Evening Standard Award for Theatrical Event of the Year and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.   

The show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor continues to play an integral part in the show’s ongoing success.  The first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical, Taymor continues to supervise new productions of the show around the world. 

The Broadway score features Elton John and Tim Rice’s songs from the Lion King animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by South African Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer.  The resulting sound of The Lion King is a fusion of Western popular music and the distinctive sounds and rhythms of Africa, ranging from the Academy Award®-winning song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” to Lebo M’s rich choral numbers. 

Elton John, Lebo M, and Hans Zimmer all collaborated on the 2019 version of the film, executive produced by Julie Taymor and Thomas Schumacher, which has gone onto extraordinary worldwide success. 

The book has been adapted by Roger Allers, who co-directed the animated The Lion King feature, and Irene Mecchi, who co-wrote the film’s screenplay.  Other members of the creative team include:  Michael Curry, who designed the masks and puppets with Taymor, Steve Canyon Kennedy (sound design), Michael Ward (hair and makeup design), John Stefaniuk (associate director), Marey Griffith (associate choreographer), Clement Ishmael (music supervisor) and Doc Zorthian (production supervisor). Anne Quart serves as co-producer. 

For more information worldwide, visit