‘Lion King’ roars back into Fox Theater

See on Scoop.itHomo Cyberneticus

Spectacle is the word for “The Lion King,” with its amazingly creative costumes that are part puppet, part costume and tons of showy pageantry.

“The Lion King” began as an animated Disney film but was transformed into a unique Broadway experience by Julie Taymor’s imaginative costume design and direction. With music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, it opened on Broadway in late 1997 and went on to win multiple Tonys. It is one of Broadway’s longest running shows and its highest grossing one.

The Broadway touring production of “The Lion King” opened Thursday, August 16, to a nearly sold-out house.

The evening’s tone was set by its opening number, with Rafiki (Buyi Zama), the face-painted shaman-like character, singing out in an African language to call the animals in from the savannah. Performers in animal masks and elaborate costumes responded with their own calls from the balconies as giraffes, birds and a cheetah emerged on stage. Elephants and other “animals” paraded up the aisles. Assembled on stage, they launched into the signature song “Circle of Life” as a puppet of the new-born lion cub was held aloft and presented to the animals. Spectacular it was.

The storyline is pared-down from the film but that allows more emphasis on the production’s showy musical numbers and other visual fireworks. The story is easy for young ones to follow, although some scenes may be too scary for the very young. The eye-popping, head-twisting costumes and sets and stirring musical numbers make the show a winner for the grown-ups.

See on thecurrent-online.com

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