For years I have been unable to catch this broadway tour in multiple cities. Something has always been in the way. Between work, travel and everything else I always missed this show. In 2018 all that changed. I had the grand privilege of attending media night for the Lion King Musical at the Fabulous Fox Theatre. Talk about the most fitting place for such an unprecedented ensemble.
I was a child when the movie was released in theaters. My mom took my siblings and I to what would be one of the most celebrated Disney Classics of all time. The Lion King. The story was new for me but the message of hope was familiar. The songs like "The Circle of Life" and "Hakuna Matata" could be heard in our household for years to come. To see my favorite childhood movie performed on a live stage at this most prestigious venue was a dream come true.
This production is quite honestly the most visually entrancing theatrical presentation that I have ever seen. From start to finish, my senses were thrilled. As the house lights dimmed, the drums started and it was showtime. Buyi Zama was outstanding as Rafiki. She was the comic relief throughout the show. Her costume stood out and her performance was memorable.
Vibrant colors and abstract art laced the entire stage. The adaptation of Mufasa, as performed by Gerald Ramsey, was riveting. I was so fascinated with the headpiece that he wore. He was able to fling it around as if it was second nature. Clearly it was.
The dancing was simply captivating. It took me back to my days in a dance company. The performers executed choreography seamlessly while gliding on the stage with grace. I saw quite a few ballerinas too. They are one of the hardest working teams I have ever witnessed on any platform.
Young Simba and Nala were remarkable performers. I could tell that they worked hard at their craft and understood blocking. It is vital for young performers to know the art. It has to come from a genuine place. I don't even know them but I was so proud.
Greg Jackson performed the part of Zazu. I kept an eye on him the whole time. He blew my mind with his quick wit while handling his puppet. I loved it!
Timon and Pumbaa were just as I remembered them as a child. The rebel duo of the jungle. Their props were impressive. I couldn't help but to sing along with "Hakuna Matata".
Mark Campbell played the part of Scar far too well. His headpiece was fun to watch too. The last scene with Mufasa is still hard to watch. My heart sank as he fell to his death.
Adult Simba was played by Gerald Ceasar. His portrayal was noteworthy. There was no doubt that he was the true king.
Nia Holloway was extraordinary as Nala. From her costume to the delivery of her lines, she was phenomenal. I recently heard that she attended school in Georgia. Yes, another budding star from the peach state!
After a while, I actually started to believe that these actors were real animals. Their movements were very reminiscent of the animal kingdom. With their feathers, full mane and carefully crafted cloths this is an experience that you can only fully appreciate live.
Audiences were drawn in by what happened in front of them, however it would not be possible without those behind the scenes. Experience has taught me so much about the industry. Especially how vital background staff are. I applaud all the unseen heroes that helped to make such a magnificent show a success. A production of this magnitude is nothing without them.
There are not too many words that I can use to describe this once in a lifetime opportunity to watch magic unfold on stage. What I can say is that I now understand why this is the #1 musical in the world. Kudos to everyone involved in bringing this story to life night after night. You all have introduced this masterpiece to another generation in the most beautiful way.
If you have not seen The Lion King Musical, there is still time. Click Here to reserve your tickets today. Thank you Brave PR for the opportunity to cover this event. I appreciate all your hard work. And I am honored to be a part of your media family. #ashsaidit
Photos Courtesy: Disney's The Lion King