THE LION KING
(show runs through Sunday 1/6/19)
(Photo Credit: Brinkhoff-Mogenburg)
My own venture into the musical theatre world started with two shows - "Phantom Of The Opera" and "The Lion King". I think both shows may have been first time theatre introductions for many other fans as well. Their popularity remains as high as ever today in 2018.
Here we are several years later and the U.S. Touring production of Disney's "The Lion King" returns to Seattle for an extended engagement during the holiday season.
The visuals are what almost everyone talks about after seeing a performance of, "The Lion King". The creativity in how they brought the 1994 2D animated Disney film to life on stage is incredibly inspiring for youth and adults alike.
The rich story of Mufasa as king of the pride lands, his curious and impulsive son Simba, the ever-treacherous brother/uncle Scar, and a strong cast of characters like Rafiki, Zazu, Nala, Timon and Pumbaa translates to the stage in a clear and distinctive manner.
The well-known songs from the film are incorporated into the musical as well to great effect.
Rafiki (Mpume Sikakane) started the journey in song as a vast array of animals walked to and onto the stage. "The Lion King" does its best to immerse the audience into their world as soon as possible. Percussionists on either side of the stage add to the atmosphere as well. For first time goers, the "oohs and ahhs" as the cast of animals took to the stage was a reminder for everyone else just how remarkably creative the costumes designs are, even if you've seen the show before.
Mufasa (Gerald Ramsey) was stoic and proud as the storyline unfolded with Young Simba, Young Nala, and Zazu (Greg Jackson). Scar (Spencer Plachy) was decadently twisted, hoping to gain his way to his brother's throne - which he does - until Simba returns to reclaim what is rightfully his throne.
The musical follows the animated hit closely - with a few updated touches in the dialogue where appropriate. The laughter from the audience, especially the children, told you all you needed to know - the cast, story, direction, set design, costumes, and every other aspect was hitting the mark all night.
"The Lion King" really stands out as its own unique musical. I can't think of any other that pulls off such a difficult source material to the stage as well as "The Lion King" does. Again, as mentioned earlier, the visuals throughout the production will make you smile, gasp, and feel like you are in their world. A trait any good theatre production does.
The show is immensely popular and once you see it (or see it again), you'll know why. There is nothing to pick at, nothing to suggest, there are no weak links in any aspect of "The Lion King". You will enjoy it on some level - hopefully a high one.
Bring your family, your friends, children that have never been to a musical - "The Lion King" will make them want to see more musicals especially if they're as epic as "The Lion King".
The perfect musical at the perfect time of year - cheers everyone!
Happiest of Holidays,
Mark D. Sugiyama
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Special Thanks: Julie for the credentials - as always thank you so much for the opportunity! I appreciate it! See you next year!
The show runs through Sunday January 6th, 2019!
STG: Buy Tickets Here!
Mark Sugiyama reviews, photographs, and interviews for his media outlet - Eclectic Arts.
(Photo Credit: Joan Marcus)
(Photo Credit: Matthew Murphy)