Lion King is currently playing on tour in Dallas, Texas and moves to East Lansing, MI

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Musical at the Mahalia Jackson Theater – Review

Lion King is currently playing on tour in New Orleans, LA at the Mahalia Jackson Theater and continue through Sunday April 15, 2012.

Many Broadway musicals are film adaptations, but the transition from movie to stage can be tricky when the source work is animated. But The Lion King works because it offers an inspired interpretation of the 1994 Disney film’s animal kingdom.

Elements that made The Lion King so popular — it’s the sixth longest-running show on Broadway — include costumes, puppetry and other mechanics used to animate the film’s environs and characters for the stage. Audiences get the extent of director Julie Taymor’s original vision. The show opener “The Circle of Life” introduces the full array of animals — lions, elephants, zebras and others — which emerges from the stage wings and walks in procession down the theater’s aisles (audiences should take their seats early: latecomers are held in the lobby until after that number). Cast members demonstrate exceptional grace, control and athleticism in operating these animals, especially the giraffes portrayed by actors on stilts, a life-sized cheetah puppet and birds whose operators mimic flight by darting down the aisles and around the stage.

Even the cast members whose roles don’t require as much apparatus are captivating. Rafiki (Buyi Zama), who is a monkey in the film but human in the stage version, functions as an enigmatic mystic figure. She commands attention from the beginning with that piercing Zulu verse that begins “Circle of Life.” She’s got a singing voice that can be simultaneously big and restrained, and she’s effective at both humorous and emotional moments. The child actors portraying young Simba (Adante Power) and Nala (Sade Phillip-Demorcy) have refreshingly childlike singing voices that they don’t push to sound more mature. J. Anthony Crane is perfectly diabolical as Scar, who has designs on his brother Mufasa’s (played powerfully by Dionne Randolph) position as king. Syndee Winters embodies the strength and beauty of the adult Nala.

The Lion King retains enough of its original elements to satisfy nostalgic viewers, but it strays enough from the source material to make it fresh and exciting.

Read the complete review by Lauren LaBorde – {Via BestOfNewOrleans.com}

Lion King musical will run through April 15, 2012 at The Mahalia Jackson Theater. Buy Lion King New Orleans LA Tickets Online, Use Code #SpringSavings at Checkout to Get $10 OFF on Orders of $350 or more!

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