Playbill reports that Disney Theatrical Productions will donate several costume pieces from the Tony Award-winning Best Musical The Lion King to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History at a special ceremony today. Among the items donated are the stylized lion mask and headdress of Simba and the costume, custom shoes and hat designed for Rafiki.
Julie Taymor designed the costume and the masks (with Michael Curry) for the original Broadway production of The Lion King, which opened on November 13, 1997. The hit musical returns to the Center May 26 - June 13, 2010.
The Smithsonian's National Museum also boasts artifacts from Rent, The King and I, Hello Dolly!, Fiddler On the Roof, Cats, This Is the Army, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mame and Lorelei; three Tony Awards and numerous Broadway Playbills and posters among other items.