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Touring production of ‘The Lion King’ goes beyond animated film
As the sun rises on the African grasslands, a noisy baboon summons all the animals to Pride Rock. Zebras, gazelles and giraffes scamper about the area as colorful birds swoop overhead. A lumbering elephant and an enormous rhinoceros are the last to arrive. They’ve all come to greet the king and queen’s new cub.Welcome to Disney’s "The Lion King,” an award-winning stage musical that is coming to Oklahoma City, where it will play a five-week engagement at the Civic Center Music Hall. The touring production is being presented locally by Tulsa-based Celebrity Attractions. "I’ve never worked on a show before where audience members rush through the lobby to take their seats,” said Fred Klaisner, the tour’s production stage manager. "They’re afraid they’ll miss ‘The Circle of Life,’ the grand opening number which still amazes me even after six years with this show.” "The Lion King” was the second of four animated films to be adapted for the stage. Disney first tested the waters in 1994 with "Beauty and the Beast,” a show that would prove exceedingly popular. It closed in July 2007 after a 13-year run. The subsequent success of "The Lion King” resulted in two additional Disney stage musicals: "Tarzan,” which ran just more than a year, and "The Little Mermaid,” which celebrated its first anniversary on Broadway in January.