The Lion King will celebrate 25 years on Broadway this weekend, one of only three shows ever to hit that milestone. At a private event, Elton John — who wrote the music for the film that inspired the musical — celebrated the “extraordinary” milestone with a special performance.
While onstage at the event, Elton said, “For a show to have run this long is very rare and it’s extraordinary. It was one of the greatest things to happen in my life in 1993 when Sir Tim Rice rang me up and said, ‘Disney don’t think you want to do this, but will you do The Lion King?’ And I went, ‘Are you kidding me?'”
“It changed my whole life,” Elton added. “Because it’s such a magical show, brilliantly put on the stage by Julie Taymor. Every time you go and see it, you just get goosebumps. It’s extraordinary, and I’m so proud to be a part of it.”
He then performed his 1994 top-five hit “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from the film, which won him the Oscar for Best Original Song, as well as the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.
The Lion King musical opened on Broadway November 13, 1997. It earned six Tony Awards, including one for director Taymor — the first woman ever to win the Tony for Best Director of a Musical.
Over the years, The Lion King as grossed more than $1 billion, making it the highest-grossing Broadway production of all time. Its various productions have been seen by more than 100 million people worldwide.
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