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PostHeaderIcon The Lion King’s New Simba – Adam Jacobs Interview

“I am proud of my Filipino heritage and I credit a lot of my success to my mixed ethnicity. Honestly, I probably wouldn’t have been able to book the role of Simba if I looked like a Ken doll!” – Adam Jacobs

The Lion King's New Simba - Adam Jacobs

The Lion King's New Simba - Adam Jacobs

Filipino-American Broadway star Adam Jacobs (“Les Miserables”, “Mamma Mia”) is currently essaying the coveted role of Simba in Disney Theatrical Productions’ North American touring production of ground-breaking, multi-award winning musical “The Lion King”. The show plays the Cadillac Palace Theatre in Chicago, IL until Saturday, November 27, 2010.

Upcoming tour engagements will include Durham, NC January 4 to 30, 2011; Providence, RI February 1 to 20, 2011; Schenectady, NY February 22 to March 20, 2011; Rochester, NY March 22 to April 17, 2011; Toronto, ON Canada April 19 to May 22, 2011; Dayton, OH June 14 to July 10, 2011; and Montreal, QC Canada August 9 to September 4, 2011.

New York University (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts alumnus Mr. Jacobs made his Broadway debut as the romantic lead Marius in Cameron Mackintosh’s Broadway revival of “Les Miserables” in 2006 to 2008. During the run at the Broadhurst Theatre, he had the opportunity to work with fellow Filipino Broadway stars Lea Salonga (“Miss Saigon”, “Flower Drum Song”), who replaced Daphne Rubin-Vega as Fantine, and Ali Ewoldt (“West Side Story”), who played Cosette. Former Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo took time out from her state visit to the United States in 2007 to see the world renowned musical, and personally congratulate Mr. Jacobs, Ms. Salonga and Ms. Ewoldt after the performance.

Born and raised in Half Moon Bay, California Mr. Jacobs’ Filipino blood came from his mother, whose father — originally from the province of Pangasinan in the Philippines — moved to the United States in 1965 with his wife and three children.

Mr. Jacobs’ inclination to the arts was apparent at a young age. He studied playing the piano at the San Francisco Conservatory where he would perform at his recitals from age five to 13. Portraying an additional role of the 13th apostle or the “apostle wannabe” (not in the original script) in a community theatre production of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Jesus Christ Superstar” was created just for him at age 13.

He reveals to (Philippines) that he had been to “The Lion King” auditions several times for the past eight years.
Read the complete interview at

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PostHeaderIcon The Lion King Chicago Review

After five years, the Lion King returns to Chicago for only 7 weeks at the Cadillac Palace Theater. One of the biggest musical hits of the last 15 years, the Lion King has now played across the globe, and has only gotten better. Julie Taymor directs a powerful visual story of the African Pridelands and the Circle of Life. The story of the little Lion King Simba, and the journey his life takes after the death of his father King Mufasa and the actions of his treacherous Uncle Scar.

The performances are spectacular, with standouts Rafiki played by Brenda Mhlongo, and Nala played by Syndee Winters. Winters’ vocal range and pitch resonate perfectly in the Cadillac Palace. Another standout that seems to have grown in the last five years are the vocal and dance ensembles. There is much more depth in all of these performances than the last run here in Chicago.

As always the costuming, puppets, masks, makeup, and set are what is the most magical about this show. Such a genius adaptaion of an animal’s story, through human actors without obvious costuming, or tricks. The humanness remains enough to connect with what you’re seeing and feeling on stage. Not to mention the brilliant music of Elton John and Tim Rice is also made magical in this production.

Entertaining for people of all ages it’s great that this production has come back to Chicago. Definitely a must see before it leaves on November 27th. From here Lion King moves to Chrysler Hall, Norfolk VA.

Purchase Lion King Cadillac Palace Theatre Tickets online through guaranteed safe and secure server. Come and experience the Circle of Life!


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King at Cadillac Palace – Theater Review

Disney’s “The Lion King” is back in Chicago for its third extended visit, now more than a decade removed from its first circle of joyous theatrical life.

Lion King Cadillac Palace Theatre Review

Lion King Cadillac Palace Theatre Review

Tours of this complexity, magnitude and guaranteed appeal are bordering on extinction in this recessionary era. But there has been no drop down the theatrical food chain here. Although the great Tony Freeman must have worn out several birdcages as Zazu by now, Disney has managed to cast new young performers, like Adam Jacobs’ Simba, who avoid cynicism and make the ascension of Pride Rock still look like the realization of some great personal ambition. It was all there in the steeling-himself moment prior to the assumption of rock and throne. Such details, such maintenance of quality, are why “The Lion King” roars on.

Behold the abiding lessons of “The Lion King.” Maybe Taymor needs to remind herself.

There is nothing more powerful than a story of loss of a parental figure and the subsequent assumption of adulthood with a symbolic nod from the one deceased. We never tire of that, because we never tire of praying, hoping, that the people we’ve all loved and lost are still, in some form, there to take care of us. We fear they are not. When we see a show that makes us feel like they are, we’re washed with comfort and hope. It’s as simple as that. Dazzle ‘em at the start—that would be “The Circle of Life”—and they’ll immediately relax because they’ve feel like they got their money’s worth. And with that worry gone, then you can tell ‘em a tale.

It’s nice to have a couple of songs like “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” sure, but, really, it’s all about the storytelling. The songs, as Aristotle noted, are pleasurable accompaniments. No more, no less.

Mainstream audiences have much greater visual sophistication than many theater people realize: You see all kinds of different versions of the same character here (Simba is played by two different actors and half-dozen different forms of puppet) and yet people fully accept him as one true being. The truth is in the little details, and in the consistent unity of the story.

There’s one last thing. In “The Lion King,” the actor playing, say, Scar (in this case, the juicily menacing J. Anthony Crane) has both a puppet head and his own head to work with. It’s on record as being fiendishly difficult to perform, but in performance it’s like watching two shows on two different levels (no other animation-to-musical piece really has this). At “Lion King,” your eye pops and bounces back and forth from the performer to the animal and then back again, giving a genuinely richer aesthetic experience. Taymor and Curry (the puppet designer) really staged two shows at once. It keeps the audience just slightly off-balance and wholly entranced. If I were a Disney exec with a catalog of animation, I’d try that one again.

The Lion King is performing at Cadillac Palace Theatre through November 27, 2010. Buy Lion King Cadillac Palace Theatre Tickets and Save $10 on Lion King Ticket Orders Over $350! Code AFF$10


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Playing at Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago

Lion King Playing at Cadillac Palace Theatre, Chicago beginning today, September 29, 2010

Broadway In Chicago is announced the return of Disney’s The Lion King for a six-week engagement at the Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 W Randolph Street, Chicago, United States of America 60602) beginning September 29, 2010. Tickets Sales is in Full Swing, Grab your Ticket before they go on Sale completely.

Now in its second sold-out decade in New York, the global phenomenon is the winner of more than 70 major awards worldwide, including the 1997 Tony Award and NY Drama Critics Award for Best Musical, the 1999 Grammy for Best Musical Show Album, and the 1999 Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Choreography and Best Costume Design. The show has been seen by over 50 million people in 13 different countries. This North American National Tour is currently one of seven productions running worldwide along with New York, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Paris, and Las Vegas.

The Lion King is performing at Cadillac Palace Theatre through November 27, 2010. Find one of the lowest prices for Lion King Cadillac Palace Theatre Tickets Chicago, IL.


PostHeaderIcon New songs added to ‘The Lion King’

Disney presents “The Lion King” performing from Sept. 29 through Nov. 27 at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre.
Dionne Randolph has played Mufasa, Simba's kind and courageous father, for seven years in the production of "The Lion King."
Julie Taymor, the director, has infused the production with her vision “The Lion King” is a heart-felt, rhythm-based, visually stunning story of a lion cub’s quest to survive loss and take hold of his courage.

Dionne Randolph enjoys gorgeous sunsets, graceful gazelles, and breathtaking musical rhythms every night he performs in “The Lion King.” After seven years, Randolph still feels energized portraying Mufasa, Simba’s kind and courageous father. Simba’s survival relies heavily upon the lessons his father taught him.

“My character is the most regal character I have ever played,” said the 37-year-old actor, who lives in Orlando, Fla. “As a young man out in the world, I am rarely regal. I don’t go into the Wal-Mart and say, ‘I am regal.’ That’s the beauty of being an actor; you get to be someone else.”

In “The Lion King,” Randolph emulates a proud lion warrior. During the show, he pounces, leaps, and walks low to the ground. He works out in a gym to stay fit, and he wears a corset to elongate his body. The choreography is Balinese because these graceful movements most closely resemble a lion’s.

In his performance, Randolph strives to find Mufasa’s human qualities. “I always say I base a lot of Mufasa on my dad,” Randolph said. “Every time an actor plays a character, there has to be a reference point. My father is a very quiet guy, but when he speaks, he always has something to say. The first thing you learn — in this role — is to be a father first.”

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PostHeaderIcon Jacobs and Crane Head Cast of Lion King Tour’s Chicago Engagement

Casting has been announced for the Chicago engagement of Disney’s The Lion King. The production, directed by Tony Award winner Julie Taymor, will stop at the Cadillac Palace Theatre for the third time Sept. 29-Nov. 27.

Adam Jacobs Head Cast of Lion King Tour's Chicago

Adam Jacobs Head Cast of Lion King Tour's Chicago

Adam Jacobs (Marius in the Les Miserables revival) will play Simba with Dionne Randolph as Mufasa, J. Anthony Crane (Spamalot in Las Vegas) as Scar, Brenda Mhlongo as Rafiki, Tony Freeman as Zazu, Syndee Winters as Nala, Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa and Nick Cordileone as Timon.

Omari Tau is cast as Banzai, Monica L. Patton will tackle Shenzi, and Ben Roseberry will play Ed. Jerome Stephen, Jr. and Kolton Stewart will alternate as Young Simba with Monique Lee and Madai Monica Williams rotating as Young Nala.

The tale of an African lion who must reclaim his place in the animal kingdom features Elton John and Tim Rice’s music from “The Lion King” animated film along with three new songs by John and Rice; additional musical material by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer; and music from “Rhythm of the Pride Lands,” an album inspired by the original music in the film, written by Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Hans Zimmer. Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi co-adapted the book from the Disney animated film’s screenplay.

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{Via Playbill}

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