It's Good to See the 'King'

Article excerpt

Be on the lookout for stampeding wildebeests, a wisecracking meerkat and lots and lots of lions Downtown this week.

Beginning Thursday, the roar of "The Lion King" will once again echo through the corridors of the Cultural District as the popular live stage musical from Disney Theatrical Productions settles into the Benedum Center for a six-week run.

Here's a look at the play by the numbers:

17,000 -- Hours it took to build the puppets and masks.

3,000 -- Stalks of grass used each year for The Grasslands headdresses

750 -- the total weight, in pounds, of silicone rubber used to make the masks.

200 -- Puppets in the show. These include rod, shadow and full- sized puppets.

143 -- The total number of people directly involved with the daily production of the show, including 53 cast members and 21 musicians.

52 -- Wildebeests

49 -- Wigs used

39 -- Hyenas

25 -- Kinds of animals, birds, fish and insects represented

18 -- Height, in feet, of the show's tallest animals, the giraffes seen in "I Just Can't Wait to Be King"

15 -- Weight, in pounds, of the Timon puppet

13 -- Length, in feet, of the show's longest animal, an elephant that is 11-feet-3-inches high, and 9 feet wide at its ears. It collapses to a 34-inch width to travel down the aisle in the theaters.

12 -- Number of bird kites used in the opening number of Act II, "One By One"

10 -- Number of years "The Lion King" has been playing on Broadway

8 -- Number of productions of "The Lion King" running worldwide.

6 -- Number of Tony Awards the Broadway production received in 1998.

5 -- Size, in inches, of the show's tiniest animal, the trick mouse at the end of Scar's cane

2 -- 48-foot semi-trailer trucks used to transport the production's puppets from city to city

Source: Disney Theatrical Productions

A bit of 'Lion' history

Thursday's opening marks the second appearance of a national touring production of "The Lion King" in Pittsburgh. …