Broadway performers Kissy Simmons, Alton Fitzgerald White and Thom Sesma have joined the cast of the upcoming Las Vegas production of Disney’s The Lion King. The sit-down production starts previews at the Mandalay Bay Theatre on May 5, with an official opening set for May 15. The Las Vegas production joins the seven other companies of The Lion King currently running throughout the world, including those in New York, London, Hamburg, Paris, Tokyo and Fukuoka, as well as the North American national tour.
Sesma, who will play Scar, has appeared on Broadway in The Times They Are A-Changin’, The Man of La Mancha and La Cage Aux Folles on Broadway, as well as in the national tour of Titanic. White, who will play Mufasa, has appeared in The Lion King’s Broadway company and its national tour. His other Broadway credits include Ragtime, Tommy, The Color Purple and Miss Saigon. Appearing as the lioness Nala, Simmons comes to Las Vegas straight from performing with the Broadway company. A native of Floral City, Florida, she previously performed with the national tour.
The Lion King will also feature Damian Baldet as Timon, Keith Bennett as Banzai, Jacquie Hodges as Shenzi, Patrick Kerr as Zazu, Adam Kozlowski as Pumbaa, Clifton Oliver as Simba, Robbie Swift as Ed, Marvette Williams as Sarabi and Buyi Zama as Rafiki. Performances in the role of Young Simba will be alternated between Duane Ervin and Elijah Johnson. The role of Young Nala will be alternated between Ruby Crawford and Jade Nelson.
The Vegas company features an international cast of performers who have starred in productions of The Lion King around the world, including New York, Taipei, South Africa, London, Los Angeles, Australia, Toronto, Shanghai, Paris and Holland. The cast includes nine South African natives, and three ensemble members from Las Vegas.
Currently in its 12th year on Disney’s The Lion King is the winner of six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.