By: Leland Kim
HONOLULU (KHNL) - A Tony-award winning Broadway musical struts its way to Hawaii, and it means dollar signs for the City and County of Honolulu.
The Lion King changed how Broadway audiences saw musicals and won six Tony awards in 1998. And now it's coming to Hawaii.
It will debut at the Blaisdell Concert Hall on September 15th for a limited engagement. Organizers say The Lion King's message stresses the importance of "ohana."
"That's the story of Simba growing up," said Jack Eldon, Vice President of Touring for Disney Theatrical Productions. "He has to take responsibility and honor his family and his father and that's what the show is all about."
Even the show is only scheduled for a six-week engagement, it could mean a boon for the local economy.
"We're talking at the bare minimum $15 million in terms of what it will bring to the city's coffers," said Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann.
Besides revenue, The Lion King will also add jobs.
"We will employ local stage hands, local musicians," said Eldon. "There will be people that help sell merchandise, so we will employ a lot of people when we come to town."
The musical version of The Lion King has been seen by more than 30 million people in 45 international cities. Organizers say it's about time it roars into Hawaii.
"So, it's fitting that The Lion King is coming here because it is all about family and responsibility," said Eldon.