"The Lion King" will pounce on Vegas in the spring, with the legit tuner opening a sit-down production at the Mandalay Bay in May.
Unlike many Broadway musicals that play Sin City, "King" will be seen in its full-length, original version rather than a 90-minute cut. Show is set to occupy the theater soon to be vacated by "Mamma Mia!," which wraps up a nearly six-year run there Jan. 4.
The Disney Theatrical production joins a local legit landscape that includes fellow Broadway vets "The Phantom of the Opera" and "Jersey Boys," along with a slew of Cirque du Soleil offerings such as "O," "Ka,"Mystere" and "Love."
Rialto shows have a mixed track record in Vegas, with some musicals carving out successful runs while others (such as "Avenue Q" and "Hairspray") fail to attract crowds.
Tuners that last in the desert tend to be those with high global profiles like "Mamma" and "Phantom"in that respect "Lion King" has an advantage. Based on the 1994 Disney animated pic, the show nabbed six Tonys in 1997 and has gone on to play around the world, including current incarnations in London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Fukuoka, as well as a U.S. tour.
Less certain is how a family-friendly offering like "King" will play with the largely adult crowds that populate Vegas hotels and casinos.