The Lion King celebrated 20 years on Broadway with a special performance on Sunday night capped with a surprise appearance by Elton John.
John, who co-wrote the music for the Disney animated hit and its stage adaptation, came on stage after the musical’s curtain call and performed his hit song “Circle of Life” with members of the show’s company surrounding him.
Julie Taymor, who directed the stage version of The Lion King, and lyricist Tim Rice were among the fellow members of the show’s creative team who were on hand for the anniversary performance, along with cast alumni and other guests.
Since premiering on Broadway in November 1997, 24 global productions of The Lion King have been seen by more than 90 million people, according to Disney on Broadway, and the musical’s worldwide gross exceeds that of any film, Broadway show, or other entertainment title in box office history. The story is also getting new life on the big screen thanks to Jon Favreau’s live-action adaptation of the 1994 film, which features a starry cast that includes Donald Glover and Beyoncé.
Watch John’s special “Circle of Life” performance above.