“It is like water in the desert,” Chenoweth said.
The show had 25 productions over the years playing to nearly 110 million people worldwide; Made on every continent (except Antarctica) and nine languages (English, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Dutch, Mandarin, Spanish and Portuguese).
All productions were shut down during the pandemic, but with the reopening of Broadway tonight, “The Lion King” has five productions now open and should have 10 by January in New York, London, Paris, Hamburg, Tokyo and Madrid and touring. North America, England, Japan and elsewhere in the world.
The musical, which opened in 1997 (and won six Tony Awards, including best musical), is the third longest-running Broadway show (after “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Chicago”), and Dlamini is still the only member of the original cast. performing at the show. Through the show, she became an American citizen (from South Africa), married another actress, where she built a life around her job; in that community and tonight a hyena, a lioness, a flock of birds, and a savanna square are playing.
What was it like walking out of the show for the first time? “It was weird,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for 24 years and all of a sudden to stop! I was on the bus, on my way to work, I had to get off at the next stop when I picked up the phone.”
The closure was also traumatic. Her husband, daughter, son and sister contracted Covid (recovered) and a cousin and her husband died from the disease in South Africa.