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Obama and the arts, Part 3

June 9, 2009 |  6:25 pm

Michelle_obama

The first family has spoken frequently of championing the arts, and so far, it appears that it is leading by example.

Fresh off a Parisian tour de culture, the Obamas jumped the English Channel and made a visit today to London's West End theater district, where first lady Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia attended a performance of Disney's "The Lion King" at the Lyceum Theatre.

The Tony-winning musical opened in London in 1999 and has so far sold more than 7.5 million tickets. Directed by Julie Taymor and choreographed by Garth Fagan, the critically acclaimed production is based on the 1994 Disney animated movie of the same name. The original Broadway version of the musical opened in 1997 at the New Amsterdam Theatre.

Michelle Obama also took her daughters to the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the "Harry Potter" film set and a British pub. The London outings were intended to celebrate Sasha's 8th birthday.

President Obama had already returned to Washington and did not attend "The Lion King" with his family.

Culture Monster has been keeping diligent track of the Obamas' cultural comings and goings. In addition to their European trip, members of the first family have paid visits to Broadway, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company (at the Kennedy Center) and the American Ballet Theatre (at the Metropolitan Opera).

Obama and his wife have also hosted an evening of poetry, music and spoken word at the White House.

Keep checking back for more updates on the Obamas' busy cultural calendar.

-- David Ng

Related coverage: First family of arts lovers; Obama and the arts, Part 2

Photo: Michelle Obama leaves Number 10 Downing Street in London during an unofficial visit on June 8. Credit: Oli Scarff / Getty Images

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