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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.

Read the complete review {Via}

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.


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