The COVID-19 pandemic has affected numerous aspects of the entertainment industry. However, one facet that it has hit extremely hard is the theatre industry. Without audiences, live theatre cannot happen. Thankfully, Broadway will be reopening this fall, with vaccine mandates for cast, crew, and audiences. Disney Theatrical Productions has now announced the full cast for the both Aladdin and The Lion King.
The Lion King will return first at the Minskoff Theatre on September 14. The cast is led by Brandon A. McCall as Simba, who previously played the role in the North American Tour. The production will also feature Stephen Carlile as Scar, L. Steven Taylor as Mufasa, Tshidi Manye as Rafiki, Cameron Pow as Zazu, Ben Jeffrey as Pumbaa, Fred Berman as Timon, Adrienne Walker as Nala, James Brown-Orleans as Banzai, Bonita J. Hamilton as Shenzi, and Robb Sapp as Ed. Vince Ermita and Corey J. will alternate as Young Simba, with Alayna Martus and Sydney Elise Russell alternating as Young Nala.
The rest of the company (the ensemble) is made up of Lawrence Keith Alexander, Cameron Amandus, Leanne Antonio, Andrew Arrington, India Bolds Browne, Lindiwe Dlamini, Zinhle Dube, Bongi Duma, Angelica Edwards, Jim Ferris, Rosie Lani Feldman, Daniel Gaymon, Pia Hamilton, Daniel Harder, Michael Alexander Henry, Michael Hollick, Pearl Khwezi, Lindsey Jackson, Lisa Lewis, Mduduzi Madela, Jaysin McCollum, Ray Mercer, S’bu Ngema, Nhlanhla Ngobeni, Nteliseng Nkhela, Jacqueline René, Kaylin Seckel, Kellen Stencil, Housso Semon, Derrick Spear, Michael Stiggers Jr., Jamie J. Thompson, Bravita Threatt, Natalie Turner, Donna Michelle Vaughan, Nicholas Ward, and Stephen Scott Wormley.
Aladdin will open at the New Amsterdam Theatre on September 28. The production will be headed by Michael Maliakel in his Broadway debut as the title role, after touring in the 25th anniversary production of The Phantom of the Opera. Shoba Narayan will feature as Jasmine, who previously performed on Broadway in Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 and Wicked. Other cast members include Zach Bencal as Babkak, Michael James Scott as Genie, Jonathan Freeman reprising his original role as Jafar, Don Darryl Rivera as Iago, Milo Alosi as Kassim, Brad Weinstock as Omar, JC Montgomery as Sultan.
The rest of the company (the ensemble) is made up of Tia Altinay, Mary Antonini, Netanel Bellaishe, Michael Callahan, Mike Cannon, Matthew deGuzman, Jacob Dickey, Mark DiConzo, Olivia Donalson, Josh Drake, Samantha Farrow, Jacob Gutierrez, Heather Makalani, Stanley Martin, Paul Heesang Miller, April Holloway, Amber Owens, Jamie Kasey Patterson, Bobby Pestka, Ariel Reid, Tyler Roberts, Jaz Sealey, Charles South, Angelo Soriano, and Katie Terza.