|John and Rice in 1991|
John and Rice wrote additional songs to add to an adaptation of the animated film which opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997. Since that time, the show has played over 6,600 performances and, in the very near future, will become the first show in Broadway history to gross over $1 billion.
One of the keys to hitting that landmark number is that the show has been extremely resilient in bringing in audiences over its sixteen year run. While most long-running shows see the size of their audience trail off as the run goes on, especially for mid-week shows, The Lion King has sold at least 80% of its seats at all but under one dozen of its 6,600 performances.
The original film won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for John and Rice's Can You Feel the Love Tonight. On Broadway, the show won Best Musical; however, the pair lost the Best Original Score award to Ragtime.
Since The Lion King, Elton John went on to write the Broadway musical Aida, once again with Tim Rice, which went on to win them the Tony for Best Original Musical Score in 2000. Lestat, which he wrote with Bernie Taupin, was a flop, playing only 39 performances in 2006, but he made a major comeback two years later with Billie Elliott: The Musical, which he wrote with Lee Hall.