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‘The Lion King’ casts new Young Simbas and Young Nalas

The new company members will begin performances on Dec. 5.

(L-R) Nia Thompson, Ezekiel Kekuna, Albert Rhodes Jr. and Annika Franklin (Credit: Disney Theatrical Group)

“The Lion King” has announced a foursome of new cast members. Beginning on Dec. 5, Annika Franklin and Nia Thompson will share the role of Young Nala, with Ezekiel Kekuna and Albert Rhodes Jr. rotating as Young Simba. Franklin and Thompson will replace Ava Hailey Harris and Jillian Page Platero, who will continue as Young Nala through Dec. 3; Kekuna and Rhodes will take over for Donovan Louis Bazemore and Davis Matthews, who will continue as Young Simba through the same day.

“The Lion King” will mark the Broadway debuts of all four new cast members, who will join a current company that features Vincent Jamal Hooper as Simba, Pearl Khwezi as Nala, Stephen Carlile as Scar, L. Steven Taylor as Mufasa, Tshidi Manye as Rafiki, Nick LaMedica as Zazu, Ben Jeffrey as Pumba, Fred Berman as Timon, James Brown-Orleans as Bonzai, Bonita J. Hamilton as Shenzi and Rob Sapp as Ed..

Casting is by ARC/Mark Brandon.

Directed by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor, “The Lion King” is produced on Broadway by Disney Theatrical Group  under the direction of Andrew Flatt, Anne Quart and Thomas Schumacher.