The Friday after Thanksgiving, my parents and I went to see the Broadway production of The Lion King. I had bought the tickets for my mother’s birthday and for Father’s day, which both happened on the same day this year, but we had to wait a few months before they could cash in their gifts. Maybe that was best, since it built up the anticipation to what became a great night out to see an amazing show.
I always knew I wanted to see this show, and so did my mom, because the movie and the musical score was one of my favorites as a kid. The Disney movie came out when I was 6 years old and it became what my friends and I would always play when we were together. I usually took on the part as Simba, since my friends wanted to be Nala, and we would sing the songs and pretend to be little lions climbing on top of furniture, which of course was Pride Rock. Little did I know at that time that the story foreshadowed all the lessons I would learn later in life: how to deal with love and loss, friends are there to cheer you up, you can’t run away from your destiny, and always “remember who you are.”
The show itself is the same as the movie and with some added songs. But don’t worry, all the important songs, like “Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata”, and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” are in there. There were a few times where I was definitely humming along but I felt like it was encouraged since some of the performers were in the audience, singing right next to me.
The costumes and set design was extremely imaginative. I was in awe of how the costumes’ construction maintained the human aspect of each actor but added the animal illusion. If you look at the pictures online (sorry, taking pictures was prohibited) you can see how each character had exaggerated aspects, like head pieces or leg extensions, that showed a cohesion between person and animal. I think my favorite costume was the hyenas because they looked like they were hunched over the whole time and for a second you couldn’t tell that it was a person since they looked just like the cartoon.
The actor who played young Simba was absolutely stunning. His singing, dancing and acting ability was very refined for such a young age. My favorite part was when they sang “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” and both Simba and Nala were on top of two giant birds and they were spinning around and singing. To me, the acting, set design and props were created in the best way; it is like the cartoon came to life. If you ever get the chance to see the show I would most definitely recommend it!
Until next time, Hakuna Matata!