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

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Posts Tagged ‘Lion King Musical Review’

PostHeaderIcon Lion King Performance at Music Hall At Fair Park – Review

Lion King musical is currently performing at Music Hall At Fair Park (909 1st Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210) in Dallas, TX through October 20, 2013.

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The Lion King should still be on everyone’s must-see list. It’s a wonderfully delightful show for all ages – Reviewed By Cheryl Callon at

The State Fair of Texas typically contains a wide variety of familiar and unusual animals, but the most unique ones come marching down the aisles of The Music Hall at Fair Park for Dallas Summer Musicals’ season closer The Lion King. Adapted from the 1994 Disney movie, the Broadway musical has won more than 70 global theatrical awards including the 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical. The show’s director, Julie Taymor, not only holds the distinction of being the first woman to win a Tony for Best Direction of a Musical, but she’s also the costume designer and mask/puppet co-designer.

It may seem interesting that a costume designer doubles as the director, but it’s almost a necessity for a production like this. Taymor and crew utilize a variety of costume and puppetry styles, and the result is one of the finest displays of theater magic around. The spectacle alone is worth a coveted ticket (as DSM quickly sells out a show like this), but rather than spoil the visual surprises, let’s focus on the other elements.

Like many film-to-stage musical adaptations, the story remains mostly unchanged and just adds a few details and extra musical numbers. Mufasa (L. Steven Taylor) and Sarabi (Tryphena Wade), king and queen of the Pridelands, welcome the birth of their son, Simba (Jordan A. Hall), who grows to be a feisty and curious lion cub. When young Simba finds himself in trouble with some hyenas in a forbidden area, the conniving intentions of his uncle Scar (Patrick R. Brown) are revealed. A terrible tragedy drives Simba away from his home, and he forms an unlikely friendship with the meerkat Timon (Nick Cordileone) and the warthog Pumbaa (Ben Lipitz). Some time later, an adult Simba (Dashaun Young) must decide between staying in his comfortable life and fulfilling his destiny as king.

Brown as Scar does well in his part, but it appears incomplete. His British demeanor handles Scar’s sarcasm brilliantly, but he only channels the whiny, narcissist side of the character. Nowhere in the production does he ever seem menacing.

While parts of the performance have a campy feel that are hard to avoid in a stage adaptation from a popular movie, The Lion King should still be on everyone’s must-see list. It’s a wonderfully delightful show for all ages, but it’s only in Dallas for two more weeks.

Read the complete review {Via}

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PostHeaderIcon Lion King Touring Musical in Dallas TX – Review

Lion King touring musical is currently stop in Dallas TX and performing at Music Hall At Fair Park (909 1st Avenue, Dallas, TX 75210) through October 20, 2013.

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Lion King roars at State Fair – Reviewed By Martha Heimberg at

What a thrill to see the colorful feathered dancers, the huge elephant puppet and the exotic giraffes and zebras coming down the isles at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Drumming and chanting fill the air as they march onto the stage, followed by waves of applause and cheers. And that’s just the beginning of a spectacular and moving theater experience that clearly enchants kids and parents alike. The Lion King, the coming of age story of Simba the lion cub who becomes king of the jungle, is the perfect family show for the State Fair.

Dallas Summer Musicals has scheduled the national touring production’s for its third stop to run through October 20, in the great Dallas tradition of going to the fair and seeing a super show all at once. On Friday night, lots of excited kids were carrying fuzzy teddy bears and other stuff they won on the Midway, eager for more thrills and chills. And they got what they came for.

At the heart of the story is the relationship between the young cub and his powerful father Mufasa, played with dignity and strong emotion by L. Steven Taylor. The scenes between Mufasa and young Simba (bright-eyed Jordan Hall) are both wise and funny, especially when father cautions son on the difference in reckless bravado and real courage, a theme repeated throughout the show in song and dance.

Patrick R. Brown is a perfectly conniving Scar, Simba’s evil uncle who plots to take over the kingdom, and Dashaun Young is a handsome and athletic adult Simba, with a wonderful voice and a dancer’s grace. Nia Holloway is a muscled and beautiful Nala, and her playfully romantic scenes with Simba are fresh and unsentimental. I loved Pumbaa the Wart Hog, a hilarious Ben Lipitz, who manages to manipulate his heavy, complex costume and still land the jokes with his jungle partner Timon the Meerkat, a fast-talking and funny Nick Cordileone.

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Lion King musical will be in Dallas TX for only six weeks through Sunday October 20, 2013. Weekend tickets are selling fast, Buy Lion King Music Hall At Fair Park Tickets before they go on sale completely.


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Musical Review at the Detroit Opera House – Big Hit

Lion King Musical currently Stops in Detroit MI for almost 4-week run from February 13 to March 10, 2013. Lion King will be performing at Detroit Opera House through March 10, 2013. Lion King musical play at the Detroit Opera House reviewed by Gloria Rzucidlo – Here is the review:

Broadway’s award-winning best musical, The Lion King, is back in the Motor City at the Detroit Opera House. It is one of the most popular touring productions currently on the road. went on Feb.15, 2013 and the place was packed. Not a single seat was empty. Adults and kids alike sat impatiently waiting for the show to start.

The curtain rose and the sun was rising on the savanna. The giraffes, elephants and hyenas came running down the aisles of the theatre to the stage. High atop Pride Rock, Mufasa, the Lion King, (played by Dionne Randolph) and Sarabi, the Queen (played by Tryphena Wade) introduced their newborn son Simba to all the animals. Scar, Mufasa’s resentful brother, (played by Timothy Carter) is jealous that Simba will be the future king. He wants that title for himself.

Time goes on and Simba grows into a cocky young cub, getting into trouble. His father tells him “Everything lives in delicate balance called the Circle of Life, you must respect all creatures.”

Scar plots a plan to kill Simba and Mufasa so that he can rule the kingdom. He creates a stampede, where the wild beasts rush to the stage and Simba grabs onto a tree branch for safety. Simba is convinced he killed his father and he leaves the Pridelands and heads for the jungle and makes new friends. Simba meets Nola and realizes their romantic feelings. The song “Can you feel the love tonight” is sung.

The play/musical portrays a lot of African tradition. The costumes and masks are very unique and creative. Human beings wear animal attire and are puppets which are controlled by themselves. The puppeteers operate the hands with a rod and some are operated by more than one person. One handles the arms, and the other manipulates the legs. They are human animals. There is a human face behind the mask to reveal facial expression so you can clearly see their expression or attitude. The masks are worn over the head instead of over the face.

The sets and lighting are exceptional. Pride Rock creates happiness and full of life and the Elephant graveyard represents death and danger. There were countless set changes which make this musical so interesting.

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Lion King Detroit Opera House Tickets are selling fast online and are already hard to find. Hurry to Book your Lion King Detroit MI Tickets Online and Avail discounts on orders above $350, by using the code AFF$10 at checkout!


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King National Tour in San Francisco – Broke Box Office Records

The Lion King national tour of set a new box office record, selling $2,100,980 in tickets during the week ending December 30 while playing at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre. The figure ranks as the highest weekly domestic gross in the tour’s 10-year history. The blockbuster show will go on to play Austin TX (January 16 to February 10, 2013), Detroit MI (February 14 to March 10, 2013), Omaha NE (March 12 to April 07, 2013) and Appleton WI (April 09 to May 05, 2013) in 2013.

The Lion King is the story of Simba, a young lion prince who idolizes his kingly father, while youthfully shirking the responsibility his position in life requires. When an unthinkable tragedy, orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, takes his father’s life, Simba flees the Pride Lands, leaving the life he knew behind. Simba starts anew, but the weight of responsibility comes to find him as an adult, and Simba must eventually fulfill his destiny to be king. The score by Elton John and Tim Rice features the songs “The Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel The Love Tonight?”

The show stars Jelani Remy as Simba, Derek Smith as Scar, Dionne Randolph as Mufasa, Buyi Zama as Rafiki, Syndee Winters as Nala, Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa and Nick Cordileone as Timon. The production is directed by Tony winner Julie Taymor.

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Lion King will be in San Francisco through January 13, 2013. Buy Lion King Orpheum Theater San Francisco Tickets Online at discounted prices. SAVE $10 on Lion King San Francisco CA Tickets on orders of $350 or more by using code AFF$10.


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Dazzles with Pride, Joy – Musical at Orpheum Theatre Review

Lion King is currently performing at Orpheum Theatre – San Francisco stage and continue through Sunday, January 13, 2013. SF Examiner Arts Editor Leslie Katz reviewed the musical as ‘Lion King’ dazzles with pride, joy. Here is the review:

It’s easy to understand why the show, at the Orpheum Theatre through Jan. 13, is the biggest Broadway money-maker of all time.

“The Lion King” isn’t your basic musical: It’s a gigantic, fluid piece of visual art for kids and adults. It also happens to have catchy songs and a touching and funny book based on a huge hit animated family film.

Director-puppet maker-costume designer and co-lyricist Julie Taymor is a genius. Her extraordinary reinvention of the Disney movie about the lion cub Simba’s tumultuous coming of age exemplifies the unthinkable heights to which the creative mind can soar.

From the first strains of Rafiki’s (Buyi Zama) opening song “Circle of Life.” and the grand entrance of the most amazing ever life-sized puppet animals – an elephant, rhino, giraffes, antelopes, a cheetah – the audience is mesmerized.

These aren’t big plush toys. Taymor and puppet design partner Michael Curry’s creations are both naturalistic and fantastic. Ingeniously composed using carefully calibrated masks and fabric, they complement, rather than cover up, the actors. At least half the fun of the show is trying to figure out how the performers manipulate their complex outerwear.

The dancers’ costumes are equally amazing. Wearing headdresses of squares of sprouting blades, they set the stage in African grasslands in an opening scene.

With a book attributed to Roger Allers (movie co-director) and Irene Mecchi (screenplay co-writer), there are nods to the cartoon: Wisecracking meerkat Timon (Nick Cordileone) and sidekick warthog Pumbaa (Ben Lipitz), who befriend Simba (Jelani Remy) after he’s banished from his home, have a cute shtick and clearly resemble their movie counterparts.

But “The Lion King’s” unending wonder is in its ingenuity, from an amazingly crafted, massive stampede in which Simba’s noble father Mufasa (Dionna Randolph) dies, all the way down to a teeny, scurrying shadow puppet mouse.

The score, including the ballad “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” the feel-good “Hakuna Matata” and African-flavored act-openers “Circle of Life” and “One by One,” sounds terrific sung by the powerfully voiced cast.

Read the complete review {Via}

Lion King will be in San Francisco CA will continue through January 13, 2013. Buy Lion King Orpheum Theatre San Francisco Tickets Online at discounted prices – Save $10 on Orders of $350 or more, Use code AFF$10.


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King Musical Review – Most Effective Puppet Show Ever

The Lion King Musical which returns this week to the Fabulous Fox Theatre-St. Louis MO, might be the most effective puppet show ever – Reviewed By Judith Newmark Via Based on an animated Disney film, the 1997 stage musical features a score by Elton John and Tim Rice that includes several memorable songs, particularly “Circle of Life” and “Hakuna Matata.” But this is a musical that audiences love above all for its look.

Mark David Kaplan plays Zazu in The Lion King Tour

Mark David Kaplan plays Zazu in The Lion King Tour

Director Julie Taymor — whose work on “The Lion King” swept the design categories for the Tonys and also brought her a Tony for best direction of a musical — incorporated many different styles of puppetry and masks in the show: European, Asian and African. The opening, when animals parade through the theater, is one of the rare moments when modern drama achieves an ancient theatrical goal: Audiences are struck with awe.

Puppets can have that effect, said Dr. Eric Nuetzel. A psychiatrist and psychoanalyst with a longstanding interest in theater, he is director of the Schiele Center, a sliding-scale therapy service of the St. Louis Psychoanalytic Institute.

“Some say that puppetry has been around longer than theater, and it has similar origins in sacred theater,” he said. “In some cultures, puppeteers are akin to shamans, and a lifeless object that behaves like a human or another animal is a source of awe.

“Puppets appeal to something fundamental. Modern theater strives to imitate life, but when actors wear masks or use puppets it’s closer to magic.”

“Magic” is also Dug Feltch’s word for puppetry. He and Bob Kramer, of Bob Kramer’s Marionnettes, have been entertaining children and adults with their shows for decades. The troupe opens its 49th season in October.

Nuetzel suspects that puppetry appeals to children because it engages the same part of the imagination that they bring to play with dolls, toy soldiers or stuffed animals, and it appeals to adults because that kind of imagination is still part of them, even if they don’t give it a lot of exercise.

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The Lion King Plays Fabulous Fox Theatre from Wednesday August 15 to Sunday September 02, 2012. Buy Lion King Saint Louis MO Tickets and Save $10 on any orders of $250 or more, by using the code SUMMERFUNTN at checkout.


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Currently Touring in Houston, TX – Review

The Lion King touring in Houston, is reviewed by Jim J. Tommaney at, Here is the sneak peek of the review:

The Lion King Courtesy of Galexa Energy Broadway, Disney’s The Lion King roars into town with its menagerie of spectacle, stagecraft and human emotions grafted onto a pride of lions, showcasing what inventive minds can accomplish with unlimited funds and unlimited imaginations. Animal puppetry is brought to exciting life by human actors. The giraffes and the elephants are remarkably realistic, while others, such as the prancing oryxes and the menacing and seductive cheetah, convince through movement. There are singers and tom-tom drummers in the loges, birds fluttering in the sky, and the animals parade down the aisle and enter to crowd the stage with delight. The plot is old lion/young lion, but the drama comes from the love between the boy lion Simba and Mufasa, his father and ruler. His uncle, Scar, is crippled with envy, and he has the hyenas on his side, a marvel of fascination — evil, adroit, brilliantly imagined and crafted, and all too human. A young lioness, Nala, is a pal to Simba in the first Act, and becomes more in Act II, when the lions have grown to maturity. An amusing hornbill, Zazu, watches over Simba, and Simba is befriended by a meerkat, Timon, and a warthog, Pumbaa; they are eminently likable and amusing. This musical is also a ballet, and the choreography by Garth Fagan is striking and hugely important. The songs are wonderful, especially the exuberant “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” the evil “Chow Down” and the haunting “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” The music and lyrics are by Elton John and Tim Rice, the direction and costume design are by Julie Taymor, and she and Michael Curry designed the entrancing masks and puppets. A brilliant collaboration of theatrical geniuses has created an awesome blockbuster of overwhelming pleasure.

Lion King is currently performing at Sarofim Hall Hobby Center Through August 12, 2012. Get $10 OFF on any Lion King Houston TX Ticket orders of $250 or more, use code SUMMERFUNTN at checkout.


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King Houston TX Review – A Brilliant Collaboration of Theatrical Geniuses

The Lion King is currently playing on tour in Houston, TX beginning Tuesday July 10, 2012 at Hobby Center. Here is the Lion King musical review by Jim J. Tommaney.

Disney’s The Lion King roars into town with its menagerie of spectacle, stagecraft and human emotions grafted onto a pride of lions, showcasing what inventive minds can accomplish with apparently unlimited funds and unlimited imaginations.

After an opening with the mandrill Rifiki, a quasi-shaman, celebrating the birth of a lion cub to the jungle’s ruler, we are treated to a panoply of animal puppetry brought to exciting life by human actors. Some, like the giraffes and even the elephant, are remarkably realistic, and others more deliberately transparent but convincing because of their movements, such as the prancing oryxes and the singularly menacing and seductive cheetah. And there are solitary singers in the higher loges and birds fluttering in the sky and drummers on African tom-toms in the lower loges, and the animals parade down the aisle and enter to crowd the stage with delight. The spectacle grabs the audience by the throat, no, the heart, and almost never lets go.

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Lion King Tour will play in Houston, Texas through August 12, 2012. Lion King Sarofim Hall Tickets are in full Demand! Avail $15 OFF on Lion King Sarofim Hall Hobby Center Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code SUMMERTIXTN at Checkout!


PostHeaderIcon The Lion King Review – Musical Continues its Reign

North American tour of Lion King returns for its third visit to Houston, beginning Tuesday July 10, 2012 at Hobby Center. The Broadway musical continue performances at Sarofim Hall – Hobby Center through August 12, 2012. Here is the Lion King musical review by By Everett Evans.

Disney Theatrical’s megahit stage adaptation of the 1994 animated film logged another milestone in April, becoming Broadway’s top-grossing production ever. Its box-office total of $853 million surpassed that of “Phantom of the Opera,” now in its 25th year and still Broadway’s long-run champ.

But the Broadway production and North American tour (which has played to 14 million people and grossed $928 million) are only the beginning of this show’s worldwide success. To date, 19 productions of “The Lion King” have played to 64 million people in 15 countries across five continents, grossing $4.8 billion.

Besides the Broadway run and the tour seen here, there’s a company traveling in Japan, a U.K. tour that starts next month and open-ended runs continuing in London, Madrid, Hamburg and Tokyo.

Additions to the score by South African musician Lebo M and others injected authentic world-music influences alongside the Elton John-Tim Rice songs. Richard Hudson’s bold settings were influenced by African textile design, while Garth Fagan’s choreography mixed African dance moves with ballet and modern.

Yet it was Taymor’s extensive use of puppets and masks from various world-theater traditions that proved most crucial to the stage show’s unique visual profile. The techniques featured include: stylized African masks, most worn above the head rather than over the face; Bunraku puppetry, with large figures manipulated by teams of puppeteers in full view; and Indonesian shadow puppetry, with moving figures of wood and animal hide silhouetted on a muslin screen.

Taymor and Curry devised a different means for depicting each animal – as prominently displayed in the celebrated “Circle of Life” opening sequence.

The giraffes are performers on stilts that extend their arms and legs, with the tall neck and head worn atop the actors’ crown.

The cheetahs are puppets whose hind legs are worn like trousers, while the performer manipulates the puppet torso and front legs with sticks.

The zebras reverse that format. The performer wears the neck and head attached with shoulder straps, pulling the back end behind. The zebra neck and head is attached to each performer with shoulder straps, pulling the back end whose hind legs are manipulated with sticks.

The success of “The Lion King” helped pave the way for other hits showcasing various forms of inventive puppetry, from “Avenue Q” to the current “War Horse.”

As technical director of the Broadway production and this tour, David Benken supervises all technical aspects of the complex production, making sure they mesh.

Even though the actual load-in of the production to each theater takes four days, the tour manages to close one engagement on Sunday and begin the next two days later. Benken explains how.

“We use two complete duplicates of settings and equipment, so we can open in one city just after closing in the previous one. Otherwise, we’d need a week’s break between engagements. The things we do carry from each city to the next, besides the cast, are the wardrobe and puppets.”

‘The Lion King’ by the numbers

* 134 people in this touring company – 49 cast members, 19 wardrobe people, 18 musicians, 11 carpenters, 10 electricians, 5 hair and makeup artists, 4 props people, 4 stage managers, 3 puppet craftsmen, 3 sound people, 2 creative associates, 2 company managers, 2 merchandise associates, 1 child guardian and 1 physical therapist.

* 200 puppets used in the show depicting 25 species of animal

* 18 trucks (14 of them 53-foot semitrailers) to transport sets, puppets and other materials

* 7 days prep required to set up the show at each new venue (3 days of advance prep, 4 days of on-site technical preparation)

* 6 African languages heard in the course of the show: Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa (the click language), Sotho, Tswana, Congolese

* 45 wigs

* 3,000 stalks of grass required for yearly upkeep of the 20 Grasslands headdresses

* 100 Ants on the Ant-Hill Lady costume

* 12 Bird Kites in Act 2 opener, “One By One”

* 13 feet long, 9 feet wide – the elephant, largest animal in the show

* 5 inches long – trick mouse on Scar’s cane, smallest animal in the show

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Lion King Play at Sarofim Hall – Hobby Center through August 12, 2012. Lion King Musical Houston TX Tickets are in full Demand! Avail $15 OFF on Lion King Sarofim Hall – Hobby Center Ticket Orders of $350 or more by using code SUMMERTIXTN at Checkout!


PostHeaderIcon Lion King Musical at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre – Review

Lion King is currently performing on tour in Orlando FL at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre. The show opens April 19 at 8 p.m. and will run for four weeks through May 13.

Lion King musical plays at The Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m.; Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m.; Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. There will be a 2:00pm matinee performance on Thursday, May 10 and there will not be a 6:30pm performance on Sunday, May 13.

“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to bring The Lion King back to Orlando,” said Ron Legler, President and CEO of Florida Theatrical Association. “Thus far sales have exceeded our expectations, but there are still great seats available.”

Here is the review by Matthew J. Palm, Orlando Sentinel Theater Critic:

The touring version, at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre for nearly a month, certainly delivers all the goods that have made the story of Simba the lion a raging success.

The animated Disney film, on which the musical is based, handled the mix of grownup themes and kiddie fare with aplomb; the stage version isn’t always as successful. It can’t help but be jarring when against a backdrop of exquisitely designed costumes, flowing dance moves and that hypnotic African chanting to suddenly have a squawking bird crack a one-liner. (Though it must be pointed out that Mark David Kaplan, as the bird Zazu, expertly squawks and sputters like a classic Vaudevillian ham.)

The other principal comic players — Nick Cordileone and Adam Kozlowski as Timon and Pumbaa, the trio portraying hyenas — embody the personas of their animated predecessors.

It’s up to the dramatic actors to add some flesh and blood to the cartoon characters, and they succeed admirably.

J. Anthony Crane’s Scar is appropriately melodramatic and imposing, though his growly shouting buries some of Scar’s jokier lines and he talk-sings too much of his signature “Be Prepared,” giving the unsettling melody short shrift.

Dionne Randolph is a less grave, more energetic Mufasa than some — which makes his worries over parenting Simba and untimely death more poignant. Jelani Remi and Syndee Winters as adult Simba and his gal Nala also have youthful singing voices, which enhance their characterizations.

Perhaps the younger sounds help bring a freshness to the show, which avoids feeling mechanical even after all these years. Certainly adding to the exuberance factor: Adante Power, whose Young Simba is a whirlwind of personality with a dynamite grin.

And irrepressible Buyi Zama manages the tricky feat of being both grave and hysterical simultaneously as wise old Rafiki.

Read the complere review {Via}

Lion King Musical will be at Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre through May 13, 2012. Get $10 OFF on Lion King Orlando FL Tickets Orders of $350 or more by using code #SpringSavings at Checkout.

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