When COVID hit last year, the Denver Center for Performing Arts was forced to cancel and postpone all of its theatrical productions. That included both its locally produced shows and Broadway tour stops, which require immense planning and foresight not afforded by the unpredictability of COVID cases.
Today, DCPA Broadway announced it plans to resume indoor, in-person productions, starting with Disney’s The Lion King, which will premiere in December 2021. The DCPA also announced that four Broadway tours planned for Fall 2021 — My Fair Lady, 1776, Mean Girls and Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations — will be postponed until sometime next year. Hamilton is set to follow The Lion King with a tentative February 2022 premiere.
Based on the Disney film, The Lion King is a six-time Tony winning show known as much for its music and moving story as it is for its artful costumes, puppetry and choreography.
“We couldn’t be more excited,” said John Ekeberg, Executive Director of DCPA Broadway. “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 added that whether a touring show will stop in Denver depends on more than the city’s COVID-19 rates. The DCPA’s Broadway partners have been monitoring restrictions in cities all over the country.
“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,” Ekeberg said.
If all goes well, theatregoers can expect Lion King to premiere at The Buell Theater this winter. We can also expect to see the following rescheduled shows hit Denver sometime next year:
- 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
The Lion King is scheduled to run December 2, 2021 – January 2, 2022. Tickets are on sale now.