Denver Center for Performing Arts Announces the Return of Broadway With The Lion King

As the pandemic swept in and shut down the economy — performing arts and entertainment became nearly absent. An industry known for its interaction with its audience, colorful sound and on-stage performance — Broadway suffered its own devastation. But as life returns to a new normal this spring — vaccines bring hope for the performing arts. On Wednesday — the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) announced the return of The Lion King at the Buell Theater in December 2021.

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

“Our Broadway partners are beginning to plan for the return to live, indoor programming,” said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of DCPA Broadway, “and we couldn’t be more excited.

While mask restrictions and state mandates become less strict — the performing arts industry is mindful of the implications for re-opening. Production work and rehearsals being a primary reason for many shows’ delay — Ekeberg reminds us that theater relies on a strong economy.

Photo Courtesy of Denver Center for Performing Arts

“However, restarting an entire industry takes considerable time and planning. Relaunching tours requires months of production work to build sets and costumes, cast and rehearse shows for the road,” he said. “Plus, it’s not enough that Denver’s COVID positivity rates have stabilized. The Broadway touring industry depends on an interconnected network of markets across the country, all of which must be ready to reopen — and stay open — at full capacity.”

Photo Courtesy of Denver Center for Performing Arts

The Lion King musical production is winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical and is the third-longest running Broadway show. To prepare for each performance — it takes 114 people — one of which is a dancer for nine different roles. The performances typically occur eight times a week — portraying over 25 different species of birds, fish, insects and safari animals. For more information on the production of the Disney original — The Lion King — go here.

The following shows are expected to debut in 2022:


Ain’t Too Proud — The Life and Times of the Temptations

Come From Away

Dear Evan Hansen



Jersey Boys

Mean Girls

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

Pretty Woman: The Musical

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Tour

To Kill a Mockingbird


Tickets for The Lion King are now on sale here. The tour will run from Dec. 2, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2021 followed by Hamilton, which opens in February.