You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Broadway’s ‘The Lion King’ to Roar in Virtual Reality

Broadway’s “The Lion King” will release a virtual reality video of the show’s opening number, “Circle of Life,” on a handful of digital platforms tomorrow morning, aiming to capitalize on the growing momentum of VR to turn consumer heads toward the 18-year-old production.

The video, to be released first on Wired and then later in the day on YouTube and Facebook, marks Broadway’s second foray into VR following a 360 video released by “School of Rock,” which showcased a number from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, filmed in a New York City public school classroom.

Broadway producers such as Disney Theatrical Prods., which has “The Lion King” running on Broadway alongside the more newly-minted success “Aladdin,” are starting to explore the marketing and publicity potential of virtual reality, which is currently having something of a moment as consumer tech (such as Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard) has hit critical mass. Curiosity about virtual reality content can help drive traffic to new VR videos — as was the case with the segment from “School of Rock,” which racked up more than one million views on YouTube and Facebook in less than three days.

As one of the top selling titles on Broadway (often landing in the No. 1 spot in the Top 10 in any given week), “Lion King” may not look like it needs much help in the publicity department. But marketing initiatives like the new 360 video, or like a pop-up exhibit of “Lion King” memorabilia and costume elements that set up shop in Manhattan in 2012, are part of a long game that periodically helps bring consumer attention back around to the Disney property in a crowded, competitive Broadway scene where most of the media coverage tends to be dominated by shows that have just opened or are about to open.

Produced by Total Cinema 360, the “Lion King” video offers a look at the musical’s entire opening number, cutting between a handful of different onstage perspectives. It’s hoped that online attention for the video will help drive sales at “Lion King” not only on Broadway but also at its various incarnations around the world, in cities including London, Tokyo and Mexico City.

More Legit

  • Nantucket Sleigh Ride review

    Off Broadway Review: John Guare's 'Nantucket Sleigh Ride'

    Anyone who doesn’t have a cottage on the Cape or the Islands, as they say in Massachusetts, might be puzzled by the title of John Guare’s new play.  “Nantucket Sleigh Ride” is no Revere Beach amusement park ride, but an old whaling term for the death throes of a whale that is still attached to [...]

  • Kiss Me Kate review

    Broadway Review: 'Kiss Me, Kate'

    No, Kate doesn’t get spanked. And for those wondering how the dicey ending of “Kiss Me, Kate” — that musical mashup of “The Taming of the Shrew” and backstage battling exes — would come across in these more sensitive times, well, that’s also been reconsidered for the Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway revival of the Cole [...]

  • Betrayal review Tom Hiddleston

    West End Review: Tom Hiddleston in 'Betrayal'

    It takes three to tango, and Jamie Lloyd’s “Betrayal” completely grasps that. Having made it his mission to modernize the way we stage Harold Pinter’s plays, his chic, stripped-down staging starring Tom Hiddleston as a cuckolded husband might be his best attempt yet. Pared back and played out on an empty stage, this masterful play [...]

  • Johnny Thompson

    Magician Johnny 'The Great Tomsoni' Thompson Dies at 84

    Johnny Thompson, also known as “The Great Tomsoni,” died in Las Vegas on March 9. He was 84. The showman was a versatile performer of music, magic, comedy, and drama throughout his decades long career. Thompson was born to Polish ancestry in Chicago in 1934. He began his career as a musician and musical arranger. [...]

  • The Devil Wears Prada

    'The Devil Wears Prada' Musical Taps Anna D. Shapiro to Direct

    Miranda Priestly can’t call all the shots. The upcoming musical adaptation of “The Devil Wears Prada” has tapped Anna D. Shapiro to direct the show, which is eyeing an eventual Broadway run. The story of an aspiring writer who works for the magazine editor from hell has previously been a best-selling book and a hit [...]

  • Hugh JackmanBrit Awards 2019 Arrivals, London,

    Hugh Jackman Starring in 'The Music Man' Revival on Broadway

    Hugh Jackman will return to Broadway in an upcoming revival of Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man.” It marks Jackman’s first musical role in more than a decade, which should make it a hot ticket. His last one, “The Boy From Oz,” resulted in a Tony Award for best actor. Jackman will play con man Harold [...]

  • Gareth Owen sound design

    Listen: The Secrets of Broadway Sound Design

    Sound design might be the most thankless job on Broadway — because when you get it right, nobody notices. Besides, a lot of theatergoers — and more than a few Tony voters — don’t quite know what it is. Listen to this week’s podcast below: Broadway and West End sound designer Gareth Owen (“Come From [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content