The musical adaptation of “The Lion King” arrived at ASU Gammage this week and the grandiose spectacle is breathtaking from beginning to end. As Broadway captures the Disney magic of “The Lion King,” it is most certainly a must-see show.
The opening scene is visually stunning with its animal portrayals. While making its way to the stage during “Circle of Life,” an unbelievably beautiful, life-sized elephant with its baby emerges through the aisles, getting up-close with the awestruck audience. The electrifying performance brings an explosion of colors that bring Pride Rock to life.
The overall cast is phenomenal, especially Young Simba’s inspiring performance, which personifies the mischievous nature of the cub. Scar radiates evil unapologetically and marvelously, and Mufasa’s incredibly sensational dynamic with Young Simba proves the play’s adaptation is as endearing as the animated character.
One of the most touching scenes is when Simba discovers Mufasa has died, giving his best performance of the night with harrowing screams upon trying to wake up his father.
Timon and Pumbaa, however, provide much comedic relief soon after and even dance the Charleston.
“The Lion King,” known for its award winning songs, does not disappoint with its musicality as it mesmerizes with classics from the 1994 film including: “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” “Hakuna Matata” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” The show combines original songs and new scenes to further build on the endless entertainment of the musical.
Costume designer Julie Taymor, along with her co-designer Michael Curry, do a magnificent job with the costuming of “The Lion King” characters. With incredibly detailed masks and life-like puppets, Taymor and Curry´s work truly brings the show to life. The African frocks are vibrant, Pumbaa’s costume is almost too remarkable for a warthog and the lionesses, while in mourning of Mufasa´s death, are adorned with teardrops that drape to floor of the stage, providing intricate costume detail that is as essential to the musical as the music is.
Hair and makeup designer, Michael Ward brilliantly symbolized the African elements of the story with elaborate makeup, particularly shown with Mufas´s dear friend, the baboon, Rafiki.
“The Lion King” is a magical experience that will leave your speechless, and will be playing at ASU Gammage until Nov. 17. Make sure to purchase your tickets, which can be found here.
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