Saturday, Dec 15, 2018
 
search SGN
Saturday, Dec 15, 2018
click to go to click to visit advertiser's website


 
 
 

 

Speakeasy Speed Test

Cost of the
War in Iraq
(JavaScript Error)
 

 

click to go to advertisers website
 
Hail to the Lion King
Hail to the Lion King
by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN Contributing Writer

The Lion King
Paramount Theatre
February 11 - March 15


While Friday the 13th is considered unlucky by many, it wasn't for the cast of The Lion King. The Disney spectacular roared into Seattle's Paramount Theatre last week and has set up its den for the next month. With more than 143 cast and crewmembers and 200 puppets, the decade-old show is still thrilling audiences with its larger-than-life presentation and stage extravaganza. And don't let the idea of puppets fool you; although it is traditional Disney and definitely geared towards a younger crowd, this musical still packs plenty to give more mature audience members something to smile about and enjoy.

The opening number is "The Circle of Life," where a chattering monkey Rafiki (played by Phindile Mkhize) calls the African animals to the base of Pride Rock. King Mufasa (Dionne Randolph) presents his newborn son, Simba, to the herds in what can only be described as one of the most impressive opening scenes to grace a Broadway stage. (Animals take over the stage, including an 11' 3" high by 9' wide elephant and giraffes that tower over the audience.) The young cub's birth will usurp the king's brother Scar (Timothy Carter) as next in line to the throne. Enlisting the help of three hyenas (Andrea Jones, Randy Donaldson, and Andrew France), Scar plots to do away with Mufasa and Simba. When Mufasa is killed, Simba runs away. He eventually teams up with a meerkat named Timon (Mark Shunock) and a warthog named Pumbaa (Ben Lipitz) who teaches him the carefree attitude of Hakuna Matata ("it means no worries"). As the years pass, the cub grows (now played by André Jackson) and eventually is guided by the mystic soothsaying monkey Rafiki to go back and reclaim his position as the true king of Pride Rock.

The story may seem familiar. Its plotline in the most basic form can be likened to Hamlet set in the African savannah. Critiques would be correct in this comparison, but this imitation is in the most sincere form. Disney delivers its juxtaposition of allowing adults to be entertained on one level while not leaving the younger crowds behind or with the feeling they've missed out. The Lion King even aims jokes at itself and its Mickey Mouse parentage.

The cast was impressively large and talented to match. They should all be applauded (and are so) for the extra talents in handling their weighty costumes and elaborate headdresses that most have to wear in the show. Then there is the pure talent. In the first Act, the cub Simba is joined by his betrothed, Nala, played by the young and talented Chaz Marcus Fleming and Sadé LouAnn Murray. They execute their roles without becoming scene-stealing or precocious, as child actors tend to lean towards. All the voices were strong and clear, but none so much as the adult Nala, Simba's betrothed lioness. In the second act solo "Shadowland," Dan'yelle Williamson not only sings of her character's sadness of leaving the pride she belongs to, but we, the audience, feel it in her voice. She emotes a sadness that seems to cast a veil over everything else on stage so that our emotions rise with the subtle crescendo of the beautiful music and lyrics.

The actors are not the only sensation of this presentation and they should equally share their success with the creative team behind the production. There are over 25 kinds of animals, birds, fish and insects represented by costume designer Julie Taymor. Although not her first Broadway production, this is the show that brought her undeniable national attention and many accolades. The songs are as huge a part of the show, as in any musical. Sir Elton John wrote the music for both the movie and stage production with the lyrics by Tim Rice (Jesus Christ Superstar): both men won Grammy Awards for their efforts. Additional African chants and melodies have been added into the stage production bringing to it a beautiful and authentic feel.

Get tickets for The Lion King. No matter what your age, the dazzling effects, the beauty of aerial ballet, brightly designed African costumes and a menagerie of haunting ballads, chants and melodies will impress you.

The Lion King opened on Broadway on November 13, 1997, where it has ruled ever since. It won six Tony Awards, a Grammy Award and eight Drama Desk Awards in 1998, and has continued to win awards and applause wherever it plays.

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 


: http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2008

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News