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The Lion King, The Stage Show
Disney's THE LION KING, Hit Stage Show Musical.
Welcome to my Lion King Stage Show page. As everyone probably knows, Disney's The Lion King started life as an animated film from 1994 - winning 2 Oscars. You would be forgiven for thinking how on earth can they put this animation, where the central characters are animals, on stage? Following Disney's broadway smash, Beauty and the Beast, Julie Taymor (Director) and her team really pulled this one of the bag by directing this masterpiece. They have won countless awards, including 'Best Musical' and 'Best Direction of a Musical'.
The theatricality involved in this production is immense. Do not, for one moment think you will be watching people dressed up as animals in 'pantomine horse' style costumes...the audience are invited to take a leap of imagination on a journey through the African plains to Pride Rock and meet the mane (nothing like a good pun) characters.
On this page, you will find my thoughts on The Lion King - the Musical, plus links to further info and where to find the coolest The Lion King merchandise from the show. Be sure to leave me a comment at the bottom of the page, before you go and let me know YOUR thoughts. Enjoy!
THE LION KING
has been named the highest grossing show in Broadway History, as on April 2012. Wow!
Did you know that The Lion King is loosely based on Shakespeare's Hamlet? well, it is!
Here's a very quick run down of the plot, of The Lion King...Simba is a lion cub and heir to the throne of Pride Rock. His evil Uncle Scar wants to become King, so hatches a plot to kill Simba's father, Mufusa and frame Simba as the murderer. The agony of the death of his father, causes Simba to exile Pride Rock and live the life of a vagabond Lion in the jungle where he meets the infamous duo, Timon and Pumbaa, who teach him about the simplicities of Life and where Simba learns to face up to his past. As he grows into a young lion, and with help from his friends, he decides to return and face his past.
The plot of the stage show The Lion King - the Musical is basically the same as the Disney animation, except more attention has been paid to Simba's inner struggle, mental and internal journey, of how he comes to terms with what has happened, and how he faces up to his responsibilities and future King.
Critics have commented that the plot of The Lion King isn't up to much. And to a certain extent, they'd be right. The story of The Lion King is quite linear, and doesn't contain many twists or turns to keep you gripped into the stroyline, but don't let the (perhaps) lacking plot ruin the show for you.
The stage show does delve more into Simba's 'internal struggle' and his 'journey' as he faces up to his past, considerably more than the film ever did, but a piece of literature as written like Hamlet, this isn't. The plot is simple, and therefore accessible to all, especially for children. There is comedy from the unlikely duo of Pumbaa (a warthog) and Timon (a meerkat) and tragedy also. For those that don't enjoy the story, the visuals will certainly be enough to keep you interested, and you jaw firmly dropped in awe of how astounding some of the sequences are.
"The Circle of Life" is probably one of the most famous scenes from The Lion King, and the stage show does it absolutely beautifully. With huge, beautifully crafted puppets and marionettes, the African landscape comes to life before the audience, in an extraordinary sensory experience that will leave you breathless.
Visually, Disney's The Lion King musical is absolutely astounding! The vibrancy of the colours and marvel of the characters created on stage will blow your mind. Before I saw Disney's The Lion King on stage for the first time, I thought to myself; "how on earth, are they going to create such scenes as 'the stampede' and even the introduction of the 'Circle of Life' with all those animals"... In my humble opinion, The Lion King stage show, has THE single best opening sequence I have ever seen on any stage, in any theatre...ever!
I don't want to spoil the opening of The Lion King for anyone, but I would recommend trying to get seats in the stalls, or just in front of the stage, on the lower level. And the most important thing, do not be late! The puppetry that awaits you in this stunning show, is utterly phenomenal! I was truly moved and humbled by the imagination and vision of the show's creators. The design team of The Lion King deserve huge kudos for the wonder that beholds its audience.
This book is a fascinating look at how the show got to Broadway. Full of amazing photos and behind-the-scenes information. If you want to learn more about the show, how the puppets work, what a busy back stage looks like, this is the book for you.
Have the Lion King on your Wall
The design of this poster is beautiful. Simple, yet effective.
Broadway's THE LION KING, has been a HUGE earner!
According to the BBC...
In April 2012, the BBC reported that The Lion King has earned $853.8 million (Â£536.7 million) since opening in 1997. Its closest rival, The Phantom of the Opera, has made $853.1m (Â£536.3m). It goes on to say the show's success has been due in part to higher ticket prices and the fact it plays in a larger theatre. The show surged ahead of the longer-running production over the Easter weekend, taking more than $2m (Â£1.26m) over Easter, while its rival made $1.2m (Â£755,000).
Phantom is still the longest-running shows in Broadway history, with more than 10,000 performances and 14.8 million tickets sold. Whereas The Lion King, in contrast, has had 5,900 performances and sold 10 million tickets.
To read more, visit the link below
- BBC News - The Lion King named 'highest-grossing show' on Broadway
Hit musical adaptation The Lion King becomes the highest earning show in Broadway history, according to new figures released by Disney.
One of the first things to hit me, when I saw The Lion King - the Musical (which I've now seen 7 times) is the Costumes and the Puppetry, and how breathtakingly beautiful they were.
The lion headdresses and masks are so simple, yet so effective, and above all else, works of art in their own right. Some characters have the beautifully carved and scultped headpieces that are be raised and lowered on their heads, aiding the impression that they are lions from the wild.
The Lion King creative team have taken elements from various cultures and theatrical devices, including huge life size puppets, mechanical cog/cam mechanisms, shadow puppets and Japanese bunraku puppets, to turn the stage into a sumptuous and visual feast.
There are moments when the audience is fully involved with the puppetry and action on stage, as certain aspects of the show become also interactive with the audience. Not only are the costumes beautiful but in some cases, the cast help make up the impressive African landscape too. As well as puppetry, we see acrobatics, awesome african and tribal dances, excellent acting and glorious singing rich in harmonies...the list goes on.
For those of you that aren't familiar with The Lion King, the stage musical has some new songs added in (including music from the sequel animation film, THE LION KING 2), aswell as songs using the instrumental score of the original film, with added lyrics.
The songs are (in order):
1) Circle of Life
2) Grasslands Chant
3) Morning Report
4) Lioness Hunt
5) I Just Can't Wait to Be King
6) Chow Down
7) They Live in You
8) Be Prepared
10) Rafiki Mourns
11) Hakuna Matata
12) One by One
13) Madness of King Scar
15) Lion Sleeps Tonight
16) Endless Night
17) Can You Feel the Love Tonight?
18) He Lives in You (Reprise)
19) Simba Confronts Scar [Instrumental]
20) King of Pride Rock/Circle of Life (Reprise)
Something I especially love about the stage show musical of The Lion King, is that it stays true to it's African origins. Rafiki (this version, unlike the film, is played by a woman, as an 'earth mother' figure) sometimes talks in an African language and dialect that uses 'clicks' - I saw a documentary where one the actresses who played Rafiki, said it took her almost 1 month to learn 10 lines! Impressive!
The african chants, as orchestrated by Lebo M, sound beautiful and evoke a sense of the African landscape. You can see some of the musicians too in the theatre boxes above the audience (depending on where you are seeing the Lion King, of course), with their huge African instruments. I know a few schools who have taken their children to see this show to introduce them to cultures from around the world - a lovely introduction for any child.
Play The Music of The Lion King yourself, on your piano!
This is the piano and vocal selections, to perform the numbers yourself. Perfect for the budding Broadway star.
In my experience, from the times that I've seen The Lion King, the audiences have been made up of a mixture of children and adults, equally.
However, I have seen this show about 7 times now, and on the evening shows, the majority is adults, but the matinees are quite kiddie heavy - as one would expect really. Every age group will be able to get something out of the The Lion King - the Musical, from ages 5 to 105!
As far as appeal goes, everyone should go and see The Lion King - it is truly a work of art, on stage!
What does the original Lion King look like?
Simba in the Animated Film version of The Lion King:
- Flickriver: Most interesting photos tagged with broadwayshows
Flickriver - view images as a 'river of photos' and more...
The Lion King, the Musical - in conclusion...
If you can afford a ticket and want to see something special...a far cry away from shows such as Phantom, Les Mis and Wicked...then this show is for you. The transition from Animatied film to stage show Musical is outstanding and theatricality emense.
Go and see The Lion King, and enjoy the visual feast awaiting you!
Thanks for reading...and don't forget to leave me a comment in my guestbook before you go :)
More of my pages about Theatre, that you will love!
Spring AwakeningSEE FULL PAGE
Parade the MusicalSEE FULL PAGE
Hairspray (Musical)SEE FULL PAGE
Equus (Dan Radcliffe)SEE FULL PAGE
The Lion KingSEE FULL PAGE
Jesus Christ SuperstarSEE FULL PAGE
RENT by Jonathan LarsonSEE FULL PAGE
Les Miserables Movie PostersSEE FULL PAGE
Rent Remixed (London)SEE FULL PAGE
The Edinburgh Festival 2012SEE FULL PAGE