8,000-pound ‘Lion King’ prop lands in Dayton

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Schuster Center prepares for ‘Lion King’ musical

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Musical opens at Schuster Center June 7.

Pride Rock has landed in Dayton. The major set piece of Broadway’s hit musical The Lion King was delivered to the Schuster Center today.

The load-in process for Pride Rock is an event in itself.

According to Billy Kimbley, head carpenter for The Lion King North American tour, the set piece is the main focal point of the musical. It weighs nearly 8,000 pounds and is about 11 feet tall. The rock splits into two parts to be transported between cities.

During the show, Pride Rock is either controlled with an automated computer system or by a hand-held remote. It can only run on a specific track on the stage.

Kimbley said it takes about six days to set up the elaborate set. The show features 232 puppets representing 26 different species. The crew consists of three puppet masters who keep the puppets looking their best.

The show is one of the longest-running musicals and recently celebrated its 14th year on the road. The Lion King is a part of the Premier Health Broadway Series. The show will run in Dayton June 7 through July 3.