‘The Lion King’ hits a key milestone in its circle of life

NEW YORK (AP) — In the summer of 1997, audiences in Minneapolis at the Orpheum Theatre saw something no one had ever seen before: leaping antelopes, fluttering birds and elephants lumbering through the orchestra seats. It was “The Lion King,” and it would soon transfer to Broadway and start a stunning run that regularly lands it among the weekly top earners and becomes young people’s introduction to theater. It turns 25 years old on Broadway this month. Part of its longevity is due to the movie tie-in, simple-to-understand story, family-friendly themes and the fact that it’s a spectacle not dependent on big-name stars.