The Lion King is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated feature film of the same name with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice along with the musical score created by Hans Zimmer with choral arrangements by Lebo M. Directed by Julie Taymor, the musical features actors in animal costumes as well as giant, hollow puppets. The show is produced by Disney Theatrical Productions.
The musical debuted on July 8, 1997 in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the Orpheum Theatre and was an instant success before premiering on Broadway at the New Amsterdam Theater on October 15, 1997 in many previews with the official opening on November 13, 1997. On June 13, 2006, the Broadway production moved to the Minskoff Theatre to make way for the musical version of Mary Poppins, where it is still running after more than 6,700 performances. It is Broadway's third longest-running show in history and the highest grossing Broadway production of all time, having grossed more than $1 billion.
The show opened in the West End's Lyceum Theatre on October 19, 1999, and is still running. The cast of the West End production were invited to perform at the Royal Variety Performance in 1999 and 2008, in the presence of senior members of the British Royal Family.
In September 2014, The Lion King became the top-earning title in box-office history for both stage productions and films, surpassing the record previously held by The Phantom of the Opera.