Elton John Sings ‘Circle of Life’ With ‘The Lion King’ Cast for 20th Anniversary

A wild surprise! The Lion King musical is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and to conclude the celebrations, Elton John surprised attendees on Sunday, November 5, by singing “Circle of Life” at the end of the show.

After the curtain call, the “Tiny Dancer” singer took the stage at the Minskoff Theatre surrounded by the cast to perform the Oscar-nominated song. The track was originally composed by the music legend, and it went on to serve as the Disney movie’s opening song in 1994 and then as the musical’s opening number.

Elton John performing during the Curtain Call for 20th Anniversary Performance of 'The Lion King' on Broadway at The Minskoff Theatre on November 5, 2017 in New York City.
Elton John performing during the Curtain Call for 20th Anniversary Performance of ‘The Lion King’ on Broadway at The Minskoff Theatre on November 5, 2017 in New York City. Walter McBride/WireImage

A clip of the special moment was shared on the Disney On Broadway’s YouTube page, along with a message thanking everyone for the past two decades: “Tonight we celebrated 20 years on Broadway with some of our closest family and friends, including Julie Taymor and the entire creative team, over 100 cast alumni and a surprise performance by the one and only Sir Elton John.”

They added: “We send our love and gratitude to all of you who helped get us to this moment.”

Director-designer Julie Taymor, the creative team, members of the Disney Theatrical Productions and original cast members were in attendance during the celebration, including Heather Headley, Christopher Jackson, Kevin Cahoon, Stanley Wayne Mathis, Max Casella, Tom Alan Robbins, Sheila Gibbs and Christine Yasunaga.

The Broadway production is joining other shows that have reached the 20-year mark, including The Phantom of the Opera and Chicago. As of October 29, the Disney Broadway show has had more than 8,300 performances since its doors first opened in November of 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

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