Lion King currently playing on tour in Columbus, OH (till July 07) and moves to Houston, TX (from July 11)

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Archive for February, 2011

PostHeaderIcon Lion King Providence Another Review – Lion King at its Best when it Roars to Life

The Lion King is currently touring in Providence, RI and performing at the Providence Performing Arts Center, where the show is scheduled to run through through Feb. 20.

Lion King reviewed by Herald News Staff Reporter and published in

Probably the most important thing this writer can say about Disney’s stage production of “The Lion King” is that my daughter Kathryn, 10, said she “really liked it.” This comes from a young lady who was never a big fan of the original, cartoon version. Kathyn accompanied me to “The Lion King” last week at the Providence Performing Arts Center, where the show is scheduled to run through through Feb. 20.

“The Lion King” is the second Disney stage production to be subjected to this reviewer’s evaluation, approximately one year after “Beauty and the Beast” graced PPAC. I had loved the cartoon movie version of “Beauty and the Beast” and never expected the stage production to match it. But it did, perhaps even suprpassing it.

I came at “The Lion King” from a very different perspective, having never really liked the animated version. It just seemed like a too-long remake of the late 1960s cartoon “Kimba the White Lion.”
But judging by the big crowd at PPAC that night, my view is in the vast minority.

The show features grand entrances — one that will have you trapped in the lobby for for 10 minutes or so if you’re late — at the start of the show and when the show resumes after intermission. The best costume is the giraffe, requiring an actor to operate four stilts while donning a huge giraffe neck and head.

The show keeps a decent pace pre-intermission, but after the break comes the trouble. From the start of Part II until the Simba returns/fight-scene at the end, “The Lion King” behaves like my Camry’s cruise control: very slow to kick into high gear.

While Simba’s guilt trip over the death of his father is important, too much time is devoted to his in-skull struggle and it throws the production into slow-mo. Kathryn’s head settled on my shoulder a couple of times during Simba’s king/Hakuna Matata identity crisis.

On the positive side, the show does stage a rousing conclusion. And several of the main characters turn in excellent performances — among them Scar (Anthony Crane), Pumbaa the warthog (Ben Lipitz) and Timon the meerkat (Nick Cordileone) See if you notice the similarity to a Power Rangers’ pose when the young lions strike their ready-to-fight pose. The cute kid lions are portrayed alternately by Dusan Brown and Jerome Stephens Jr. (Simba) and Monique Lee and Madai Monica Williams (Nala).

The stage production has wisely decided to take the Pumbaa flatulation angle and run with it. The warthog lets fly with gas repeatedly and the crowd eats it up — figuratively, of course. The conspicuous expulsions never failed to get big laughs.

The choreography has received much attention and praise in the national press, so those who appreciate cool dancing numbers should enjoy this.


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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Providence, RI Review – The Lion King Still Rules

The nationally touring production that has returned to PPAC and performing through February 20 is just as spectacular. Lion King Providence Performing Arts Center Theater review by Kathie Raleigh and published in

There is not much that can beat the excitement of the opening “Circle of Life” when the “animals” — including gangly giraffes, a life-sized elephant and a flock of white birds — make their entrances on stage and down the aisles of the theater, close to the audience.

While that experience is mostly about costumes and presence, the really good news is that this production keeps up the emotion in the story, from the father-son relationship between the reigning Lion King, Mufasa, and his heir, Simba, to a warmly expressed relationship between the grown-up Simba and his childhood playmate, Nala.

As for the music, the orchestra in the pit is live but recording-perfect. Percussionists set up on either side of the stage, moreover, offer an interesting visual element; so that’s how that jingly, rain-water sound is made. Elton John and lyricist Tim Rice wrote five songs for the show, and Hans Zimmer wrote the score, which most effectively uses traditional African music and choral elements arranged by Lebo M. The result is an appealing contrast between catchy pop hooks and mesmerizing, rhythmic vocals.

All the characters are animals, and the actors have inventive costumes, masks and puppets created by the original director, Julie Taymor, and designer Michael Curry, to portray them.

Amazing costumes don’t negate the need for good acting, and there is plenty in this production. Derrick Davis as Mufasa is regal yet nurturing with the young Simba, a role performed on different nights by two children. Thursday’s performance was by Dusan Brown Jr., who used every fiber of his tiny body to express Simba’s many moods.

The spectacle is the attraction when seeing Disney’s “The Lion King” the first time, and the costumes, music, acting and storytelling are reasons to return for a second time — or more.

Read the complete Review at

Lion King Providence Performing Arts Center Performances continue through February. 20 at PPAC, 220 Weybosset St. Tickets are already on Sale, Buy Lion King Providence RI Tickets. Get $10 OFF on Lion King Ticket Orders Over $350! Use Discount Code AFF$10.


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Visiting Mead Theatre, Dayton Ohio June 14, 2011

Dayton engagement of The Lion King is presented by arrangement with Victoria Theatre Association is Visiting Dayton, Ohio in the month of June 2011 for four weeks.

Dayton’s most eagerly awaited stage production will begin performances at the Benjamin & Marion Schuster Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, June 14 for a limited engagement of four weeks through Sunday, July 10. The opening night is Thursday, June 16 at 8PM. The Lion King is part of the 2010-2011 Miami Valley & Good Samaritan Hospitals Broadway Series.

In Dayton, Lion King will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 PM, 6:30 PM on Sundays and matinees on Saturdays at 2 PM and Sundays at 1 PM. Ticket prices start as low as $32. Premium Ticket Packages, which include prime seat locations, a commemorative souvenir program and an exclusive merchandise item, are also available. Tickets are on Sale already and Selling Quickly.

The North American touring production of Lion King has been seen by over 12.7 million theatergoers and grossed over $834 million to date. Having already played more than 60 cities across North America, THhe Lion King now proudly makes its Dayton premiere at the Schuster Center. Click here for the current Lion King Tour and schedule.

Save $10 on Lion King Dayton OH Ticket Orders Over $350! Use Code AFF$10.

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