Last month, we told you about Shannon Tavarez, a former cast member of the Broadway production of Disney Theatrical’s ‘The Lion King,’ who was diagnosed with AML Leukemia at age 10. On July 23, from 10 am – 3 pm, cast and crew from the musical will be on hand hosting a bone marrow drive in Shannon’s honor at the Minkskoff Theatre in New York City, where the show performs.
For more information, see MatchShannon.com
Cast members from Disney’s THE LION KING (at Mandalay Bay) will be performing in Los Angeles at The Grove outdoor shopping and entertainment district during a free event on Friday, July 9 at 5 pm and 7 pm PT.
Performers will include Kissy Simmons, who joined the Las Vegas company after appearing as “Nala” on Broadway; Buyi Zama, a native of South Africa, who has performed as “Rafiki” in seven productions of THE LION KING around the world; and Jelani Remy as “Simba,” previously seen in the theatrical touring production of High School Musical. Join the cast as they celebrate “THE LION KING Day” at The Grove, performing iconic songs from the Broadway phenomenon such as “Circle of Life,” “Shadowland,” “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and “Endless Night” alongside the FAME Church Choir, Los Angeles.
As part of the celebration, guests can also join in the festivities by creating their own LION KING themed mask made from recycled products with Ann Closs-Farley Designs from 3-7 PM.
For Las Vegas, Disney hand-selected an acclaimed, international cast of performers from productions of THE LION KING across the globe including Broadway, Taipei, South Africa, London, Los Angeles, Australia, Toronto, Shanghai, Paris and Holland.
The cast will also be performing during CBS’s live telecast of the Daytime Emmys on Sunday, June 27 at 8 PM ET/PT
Some of the more exciting recent news to come out of Walt Disney Studios came from Disney’s Don Hahn via Empire Online.
Hahn, who has recently finished a 3D conversion of Beauty and the Beast and is currently working with Tim Burton on a feature-length version of Burton’s short Frankenweenie told the site that he’ll soon be working on getting The Lion King 3D conversion underway. In the past, Hahn has entertained the idea of converting other Disney animated classics to 3D but has stopped short of making any promises, most likely waiting to see where Beauty landed. Missing its target of Valentine’s Day 2010 and despite a Blu-ray release and huge marketing push this fall, we can still anticipate seeing the 3D film next year. Buzz on the conversion has been overwhelmingly positive.
In related news, Hahn confirmed that the sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is hopping along while confirming what’s already been known regarding The Snow Queen, noting that the story just wasn’t there for now.
At the age of 10, Shannon Tavarez managed to accomplish what most never could, taking on a pivotal role in one of the most popular theatrical productions in Broadway’s history, that of young Nala. Less than a year later, Shannon finds herself fighting for her life having been diagnosed with AML Leukemia, a cancer whose victims have an average age of 65.
Shannon now spends her days receiving chemotherapy treatments and acting as a spokesperson for DKMS, the world’s largest bone marrow donor matching service. In Shannon’s case, finding a donor is particularly difficult because of her mother being African-American and her father is Dominican. On her quest for finding a donor, Shannon has prepared the following video for DKMS:
To begin registering yourself as a bone marrow donor, click here.
CBS has just announced that the Las Vegas cast of Disney Theatrical’s The Lion King will perform during the 37th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards airing live from the Las Vegas Hilton on Sunday, June 27 from 9 PM – 11 PM ET/PT. The performance joins a previously announced line-up of Vegas-based acts such as the Blue Man Group, Cirque du Soleil and the showgirls of Jubilee. The awards show will be hosted by Regis Philbin.
Other presenters added to the previously announced line-up include Wayne Brady, Jeff Foxworthy, Vanessa Marcil and Alex Trebek. A tribute to television’s ‘American Bandstand’ and emcee Dick Clark will be hosted by Ryan Seacrest and will feature Donny Osmond, Chubby Checker, Tony Orlando and cast of The Jersey Boys amongst others.
On next week’s episode of ABC’s ‘The Bachelorette,’ the Big Apple rolls out the red carpet, as the remaining 11 men begin an exciting trip around the world to capture Ali’s heart. The Bachelorette arrives in New York City before the men to participate in a fun, fabulous make-over and photo shoot for InStyle.
Seven enthusiastic bachelors visit Broadway’s long-running, landmark musical, The Lion King. The show’s producer, Thomas Schumacher, surprises the men when he tells them that they will audition on the stage for alone time with Ali. A good-natured, but intense competition ensues among the men, who attempt to sing and dance their way into Ali’s heart. In the end, Ali selects one lucky bachelor, who also will be featured with her in that night’s performance of The Lion King in front of a packed house.
ABC has released this sneak peek of the episode featuring the bachelors as they audition for the prized role in the night’s performance. Mercifully, the segment ends just before the singing portion begins.
Since they were first introduced for Valentine’s day, Hallmark has been steadily growing its offering of augmented reality greeting cards. By purchasing the cards in-store, the recipient can download special software specific to the card (Windows only) and use their webcam to produce an interactive augmented reality visual featuring their favorite characters.
Pictured on the top are new Father’s Day cards featuring Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo and Disney’s The Lion King and are available at most Hallmark stores. The cards on the bottom feature characters from Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story and the Disney Princesses and are available exclusively at Walmart. To see pictures of all of the available cards, visit the Hallmark augmented reality card website.
For more information on the cards as well as sample videos of the cards in action, check out our original coverage here.
Ali Fedotowsky, the beautiful, energetic and charismatic career-oriented woman from San Francisco is back. She has re-prioritized her life – and now is ready to find her soul mate. Ali will have her own opportunity to find true love, as the sixth edition of “The Bachelorette,” the female version of ABC’s hit romance reality series, premieres MONDAY, MAY 24 (9:02-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
Ali, 25, has been a fan favorite from the moment she stepped out of the limo to meet Jake Pavelka on the last season of “The Bachelor.” She became the front-runner for Jake’s heart, but in a shocking turn of events, she was forced to make a heartbreaking choice between her dream job and continuing her relationship with Jake. Ali surprisingly chose her career – a decision she still regrets. But it’s not too late for Ali now. She’s left her home, her job, her stability behind – letting go of everything this time — to really make a life-changing commitment to put her heart first and take a second chance at finding true love.
This season’s premiere, “Episode 601,” begins with 25 eligible men arriving from all over the country to try and win Ali’s heart, including a real estate investor, a lawyer, a TV weatherman and even a professional wrestler. Each is more handsome than the next, with standout personalities. Tonight, as she returns to the mansion, nothing can prepare Ali for the lengths the guys will go to for her attention: one outdoorsman literally tries to reel her in, a hunky skier does a death-defying back flip off the limo and a one man even gets down on one knee and proposes.
Inside, the men are blown away about how incredibly gorgeous Ali looks in her slinky black dress – and the battle of the bachelors begins, as each tries to make the best first impression on the stunning Bachelorette. An aspiring writer is the first to snag some alone time with Ali, sharing his very inspiring story. One man scores some points with a sentimental scrapbook he made for her, but one clever guy steals the show and Ali’s attention with a heart-felt, hilarious song, accompanying himself on a ukulele.
The competition heats up when Chris Harrison brings out the first impression rose. A sexy Latin bachelor seizes the moment to take Ali outside and teach her some salsa steps. Another handsome suitor rips his shirt open to reveal his professional wrestler alter ego, and a rugged country guy gives Ali a beautiful hand-crafted wood necklace to make his point.
But Ali grows concerned when one of the men uses his one-on-one time to warn her – already – that there may be some men here for reasons other than love. Chris comes to the rescue as he brings in a ballot box and instructs the men to each write down the name of a guy they feel isn’t here for the right reasons. Tensions rise and tempers clash as the men size each other up and call each other out. As the men battle, Ali scoops up the first impression rose and offers it to someone who swept her off her feet. When the votes are tallied, one bachelor gets an overwhelming number of votes. But even though he is a marked man, Ali gives him some private time to convince her that his intentions are sincere. But will he have done enough to get a rose?
This past Thursday, actress, comedienne and co-host of ABC’s The View, Whoopi Goldberg took the stage at the Minkskoff Theatre to perform in Disney’s The Liong Kingfor one night only.
The night’s special performance was introduced by Disney Theatrical president and producer Thomas Schumacher who first talked about how there have been over 10,000 shows produced in Broadway’s history and that out of those, only eight have gone on to host more than 5,000 performances and that The Lion King had just become number nine (which it did back in November). After noting that director Julie Taymor was also in the audience for the evening’s performance, Schumacher then went on to explain that the performance was being taped for The View and outlined the three cameos Goldberg would be appearing in throughout the show.
Our first look at Whoopi was as ‘Bird Lady,’ a member of the procession of animals that marches down the aisles to the stage during the opening scene in which all the animals gather for the presentation of Simba.
We next saw her as the curtain pulled back to reveal Scar in the elephant graveyard alongside his three four hyena companions: Banzai, Shenzi, Ed and.. a Shenzi clone. Goldberg, re-creating the role she had originated in the film, took the lead as Shenzi, although she appeared to stumble through some lines (which is completely understandable) and appeared to have difficulty either operating and/or remembering to operate Shenzi’s mouth, although she eventually caught on. When ceremoniously dismissed by Scar (and a bit of humorous back and forth), the Shenzi clone slowly stumbled her way off stage, but not before facing the audience and noting how hard it was.
Whoopi’s final appearance was that as Rafiki (again, being backed up by the regular cast member). This time, as the Rafikis confronted Simba, Goldberg took more of a secondary role amongst the heavily modified ‘we know your father’ dialogue. Whoopi also appeared as Rafiki later on swinging solo on a vine to deliver a few lines.
You can see some photos from the performance’s curtain call featuring Whoopi as Rafiki on BroadwayWorld.com. The segment will air on The View on Wednesday, January 20.
On this morning’s episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg announced she will be appearing in the Broadway production of The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre for one night only. During the evening performance on January 14, 2010, Goldberg will make a series of surprise cameos throughout the popular musical. Her rehearsal experience is being recorded to air as a special presentation as part of The View next week.
Goldberg is no stranger to either the stage, nor The Lion King, having originated the character of Shenzi the hyena.
Update: 1/14/10 – ABC has informed us that the behind-the-scenes segment will air on The View on Wednesday, January 20.