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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 Woonsocketcall.com.

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 Woonsocketcall.com.

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.

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