The amazing spectacle that is the ‘Lion King’

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“The Lion King” debuted in Minneapolis in 1997 and premiered on Broadway in November of that year. In 1998 the musical won numerous Tony Awards including Best Musical, Outstanding Set Design and Best Choreography. As of April 2012, “The Lion King” was the highest grossing musical on Broadway grossing $853.8 million. It will run Sept. 3-29 at the Benedum Center.
The season will continue with “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess from Feb. 25-March 2, 2014 at the Benedum. Winner of the 2012 Tony Award for best revival of a musical, it will feature new staging and legendary songs like “Summertime” and “I Got Plenty of Nothing.” The musical features one of Broadway’s most accomplished creative teams, led by Tony-nominated director Diane Paulus, Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks and two-time Obie award-winning composer Diedre Murray.
“We Will Rock You” the musical by Queen and Ben Alton will roll onto the Benedum Center stage Oct. 29-Nov. 3. The guitar-thrashing musical that is based on the music of rock group Queen celebrated its 10th anniversary last May.
The hilarious musical “Elf” will get Pittsburgers ready for the holiday season when it stops at the Benedum Center from Nov. 26-Dec. 1. “Elf” tells the story of Buddy, a young orphaned child who crawls into Santa’s giftbag and is taken back to the North Pole. Once he realizes that he is not an elf—due to his enormous size and poor toy making skills—Buddy takes a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity and learn the true meaning of Christmas.
“Ghost The Musical” will retell the iconic love story from the Oscar-winning movie of the same name in a brand new Broadway musical. It features an original pop score from Dave Stewart, one half of the ’80s pop duo the Eurythnics and Glen Ballard, co-writer of Alanis Morrisette’s multi-platinum album, “Jagged Little Pill.” The musical will play at Heinz Hall from Dec. 31- Jan. 5.
“Once,” winner of eight Tony Awards in 2012 including Best Musical takes hold of the Benedum Center stage March 11-16 in 2014. It tells the story of a Dublin street musician who is about to give up his dream of making it into the big time when a young woman takes an interest in one of his haunting love songs. As the chemistry between them grows his music soars to powerful new heights.
Anyone who enjoyed the story of “Peter Pan” will enjoy “Peter and the Starcatcher,” the prequel to “Peter Pan” as it rounds out the 2013-2014 season during a five-night run at Heinz Hall from May 20-25. “Peter and the Starcatcher” takes the audience on a trip through Neverland. Based on the best-selling Disney-Hyperion novel by Dave Barry and Ridley  Peterson, the play won five Tony Awards and the Broadway.com Audience Choice Award for Favorite Play.
“I’m a New York kid but Pittsburgh is a good place for me to be. ‘The Deer Hunter’ was my first experience with Pittsburgh while I was in graduate school at Yale and I remember the affect that the song ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off You’ had and how everyone knew the song and that’s where the idea for ‘Peter and the Star Catcher’ came from,” said Rick Elise, writer of the musical. “It was written for adult sensibility. This is an unmatched production with 12 actors including the actor from ‘Smash” who is from Pittsburgh. He rearranged his schedule to do this.”
Theatergoers will also be able to attend three season special events during the 2013-2014 season.
“Christmas with THE RAT PACK Live at the Sands will run at Heinz Hall from Christmas Eve through Dec. 29. The musical: Wicked” will return to Pittsburgh’s Benedum Center for a limited engagement Jan. 15-Feb. 9. “Mamma Mia!” will take over the Heinz Hall stage Feb. 11-16.
“I’m thrilled to share the 2013-2014 season. There are three critical concepts that guide how shows are chosen: balance, quality and diversity,” said Paul Organsak, vice president of programming at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. “We really use those guidance principles. We’re here to compliment not to compete.”
Season tickets range from $113 to $473. Single tickets will go on sale approximately 6-8 weeks in advance of the shows opening.
For more information, call 412-456-1300 or visit http://www.trust­arts.org/Broadway. Group discounts apply to orders of tickets of 10 or more for most events. For more information, call 412-471-6930 or visit http://www.trustarts.org/groupsales.

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