BroadwayCon is thrilled to announce a celebration of Disney’s The Lion King featuring Tony Award-winning director Julie Taymor in conversation with Whoopi Goldberg, who originated the role of Shenzi in The Lion King animated movie, to discuss the hit Disney musical celebrating its 20th year on Broadway.
BroadwayCon will host Twenty Years On Pride Rock, celebrating Disney’s The Lion King on Friday, January 27. More than 85 million people have seen it, it’s the third-longest running show in Broadway history, it has 24 global productions, and it has garnered 70 awards internationally including the Tony Award for Best Musical. Join us on the MainStage at BroadwayCon for an incredible chance to hear from the creator of The Lion King, Tony Award-winner Julie Taymor, in discussion with Tony, Oscar, Emmy, and Grammy winner Whoopi Goldberg to discuss the creation and success of this Broadway masterpiece now celebrating 20 years on Broadway.
Julie Taymor won the 1998 Tony Award® for Best Direction of a Musical and for Best Costumes for The Lion King. It also garnered Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Drama League Awards for Taymor’s direction; three Moliere Awards, including Best Musical and Best Costumes; and myriad awards for her original costume, mask and puppet designs. Taymor made her Broadway debut in 1996 with Juan Darien: A Carnival Mask (Lincoln Center), nominated for five Tony Awards. Other theatre work includes The Green Bird (New Victory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the Cort Theatre on Broadway); Titus Andronicus; The Tempest; The Taming of the Shrew (Theatre for a New Audience); The Transposed Heads (Lincoln Center and American Music Theatre Festival); Liberty’s Taken (Castle Hill Festival); and Spider-Man Turn Off the Dark (Foxwoods Theatre on Broadway). Her opera productions include the Pulitzer finalist, Grendel, composed by Elliot Goldenthal (Los Angeles Opera and the Lincoln Center Festival); Mozart’s Die Zauberflote, in repertory at the Metropolitan Opera since 2004; and Oedipus Rex with Jessye Norman, conducted by Seiji Ozawa, for which she earned the International Classical Music Award for Best Opera Production and an Emmy for a subsequent film version. Her first film, “Fool’s Fire,” an adaptation of an Edgar Allan Poe short story, aired on PBS in 1992. Her feature films include Titus, starring Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange; Frida, starring Salma Hayek and Alfred Molina (six 2002 Academy Award nominations, winning two); Across the Universe (2008 Golden Globe nomination for Best Musical/Comedy); and The Tempest, starring Helen Mirren, Djimon Hounsou, Russell Brand and Ben Whishaw. She recently directed the play Grounded, starring Anne Hathaway at the Public Theater, and completed a cinematic version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, filmed during her critically acclaimed, sold-out stage production that ran at Theatre for a New Audience’s new home in Brooklyn. Taymor has received a MacArthur “genius” Grant, a Guggenheim Fellowship, two Obie Awards and the first annual Dorothy B. Chandler Award in Theater, among many others. A book spanning her career, Julie Taymor: Playing With Fire, is in its third edition from Abrams.
Whoopi Goldberg is one of an elite group of artists who have won the Grammy, the Academy Award, the Golden Globe, the Emmy and Daytime Emmy and a Tony Award. She is equally well-known for her humanitarian efforts on behalf of children, the homeless, human rights, education, substance abuse and the battle against AIDS, as well as many other causes and charities.
Born and raised in New York City, Whoopi worked in theatre and improvisation in San Diego and the Bay Area, where she performed with the Blake Street Hawkeyes theatre troupe. It was there that she created the characters which became “The Spook Show” and evolved into her hit Broadway show, Grammy Award-winning album and the HBO special that helped launch her career.
Whoopi made her motion picture debut in Steven Spielberg’s film version of Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” for which she earned an Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe Award. Her performance in “Ghost” earned her the Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress and she has starred in such films as “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” “Clara’s Heart,” “The Long Walk Home,” “Soapdish,” “Sister Act,” “Made in America,” “Boys on the Side,” “Ghosts of Mississippi,” “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” “Girl, Interrupted,” and “The Lion King, among others. She appeared in the 2015 feature film adaption of Adriana Trigiani’s beloved novel, “Big Stone Gap,” opposite Ashley Judd, Patrick Wilson and Jenna Elfman.
Whoopi’s many television credits range from series, mini-series and talk shows to movies and specials. She currently moderates ABC’s Emmy Award-winning “The View,” for which she has won a Daytime Emmy Award.
Whoopi has also produced numerous series, specials and movies for television, as well as theatrical productions on Broadway and around the world, including the Tony Award-winning “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and the Tony-nominated “Sister Act: The Musical.” She produced and made her directorial debut with the Emmy Award-nominated documentary, “Whoopi Goldberg Presents Moms Mabley,” which premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival before its critically-acclaimed run on HBO. Whoopi and her partner Tom Leonardis produced the docu-series “According to Alex” for BET and “Strut,” an original series for Oxygen which follows a group of transgender models breaking down barriers in the world of fashion.
Whoopi’s Broadway credits include “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Xanadu” and she made her West End stage debut in a special limited run as Mother Superior in “Sister Act: The Musical” in 2011.
In 1992, Whoopi made her debut as an author with her first children’s book, “Alice.” She also wrote “Whoopi’s Big Book of Manners” and the “Sugar Plum Ballerinas” book series for young readers and her books for adults include “Book,” “Is It Just Me?” and “If Someone Says ‘You Complete Me’…Run!”
BroadwayCon is theatre’s answer to comic-con, tailor made for fans. From January 27–29, 2017, join some of Broadway’s biggest fans, performers, and creators from classic and current shows as we gather at the incomparable Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to perform, discuss, debate, and celebrate theatre. BroadwayCon 2017 will feature panels, performances, interviews, workshops, singalongs, and more, all packed into an epic three-day weekend. Past panels have included previews from upcoming Broadway shows, conversations with the casts and creatives of this season’s hits, and discussions featuring the industry’s top producers and designers, not to mention the giant Opening Ceremony, the nighttime concerts, and the dance parties. BroadwayCon is produced by Mischief Management and Playbill. The BroadwayCon Artistic Director of Headline Programming is David Alpert.
For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit www.BroadwayCon.com.