New Cast Members Join Disney's The Lion King at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas


Image // (c) 2011 Mandaly Bay Resort & Casino

"Disney’s The Lion King" at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas is set to welcome three new cast members: Phindile Mkhize as Rafiki, Dashaun Young as Simba and Samantha Ware as Nala.

Mkhize, a South African native, is set to take the stage on July 4 after touring with The Lion King for eight years. Her past credits include The Lion King: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, Sarafina 2, Mama, Maria, Maria and WozaMyFohloza.

Young began his role as Simba on June 23 after performances of The Lion King in London, Broadway and the National Tour. A graduate of California State University, Yong has performed with Hairspray, Legends, The Scottsboro Boys, Emerald Man, Aida, Hello, Dolly! and Radio City Christmas Spectacular.

Broadway newcomer Ware debuted as Nala on June 13. Hailing from Lincoln, N.E., her recent roles include Mimi in Rent and Velma in Chicago, both at City Stage in Union Station in Kansas City, M.O.

Mandalay Bay’s production of "The Lion King" broke the Mandalay Bay box office record within nine weeks of its Las Vegas debut, and continued to break its own record four more times within two years. The smash hit has been seen by more than 55 million people in 18 different productions worldwide since its 1997 premiere.

Performances are Monday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m. with Saturday and Sunday shows at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. "The Lion King Las Vegas" will perform its final show on December 30, 2011.