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The Lion King, The Stage Show

Updated on February 25, 2013

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!

Photo credits: All images used in this lens can be found on Wiki commons, unless otherwise stated

***STOP PRESS***

***STOP PRESS***

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.

The Lion King: Pride Rock On Broadway (A Disney Theatrical Souvenir Book)
The Lion King: Pride Rock On Broadway (A Disney Theatrical Souvenir Book)

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

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 (£536.7 million) since opening in 1997. Its closest rival, The Phantom of the Opera, has made $853.1m (£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 (£1.26m) over Easter, while its rival made $1.2m (£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

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

9) Stampede

10) Rafiki Mourns

11) Hakuna Matata

12) One by One

13) Madness of King Scar

14) Shadowland

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!

The Lion King - Broadway Selections
The Lion King - Broadway Selections

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:

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 :)

© MarcoG

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


Please paws (haha) here and show me some Lion King love! Have you seen the show? What did you think?

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    • VJGSA profile image

      VJG 2 years ago from Texas

      Great Hub. My wife and I have seen the play twice. We have been to Disney's Animal Kingdom and they have an abbreviated version of the play that revolves around, I believe 3 major musical numbers. Very short production, but you are so close to the action that you can actually see the sweat on the performers. If you can look up the photos or videos - it is very dynamic and colorful. Thanks again.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 3 years ago from Edinburgh

      @williamslaw: The Lion King Musical is utterly fabulous. Glad you enjoyed it. I know exactly what you mean about not being able to sit still! It's a very immersive show. Breath-taking!

    • williamslaw profile image

      williamslaw 3 years ago

      Absolutely loved the show! Sitting still was a problem during the show as me and my family felt like we were on stage and part of the cast!!! Thank you for this amazing lens and bringing back memories.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @anonymous: Thanks for stopping by, Vaidehi-chincholkar. I love Lion King the musical too :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      loved the show and loved the lens!

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @lawyer-marketing: Thank you :) Lion King the Musical ROCKS! :)

    • profile image

      lawyer-marketing 4 years ago

      Great lens

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @amytrumpeter: Hi Amy - what a brilliant birthday treat! The Lion King stage show is so wonderful! The way they do Timon and Pumbaa is genius! Thanks for stopping by :)

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @amytrumpeter: Hi Amy - what a brilliant birthday treat! The Lion King stage show is so wonderful! The way they do Timon and Pumbaa is genius! Thanks for stopping by :)

    • amytrumpeter profile image

      Amy Trumpeter 4 years ago from Oxford

      Yes, I saw it in London for my 30th birthday, and it was absolutely amazing. I loved Timon and Pumba!

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @JoshK47: Josh, go and see it, go and see it! :)

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @mmwoodward: Hey there! The Lion King is my all time favourite Disney movie too. If you ever get the chance, go and see The Lion King on stage, it's just so, so, soooo wonderful :)

    • uneasywriter lm profile image

      uneasywriter lm 4 years ago

      Great lens!

    • mmwoodward profile image

      mmwoodward 4 years ago

      Awesome lens! I haven't seen the show yet, but The Lion King still remains as my all-time favourite movie. It's one of my dreams to see it in theatre.

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @uneasywriter lm: Thank you very much. The Lion King on stage is utterly brilliant, you should go if you get a chance :)

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 4 years ago from Edinburgh

      @opatoday: The Lion King, the musical is brilliant isn't it? Thanks for stopping by :)

    • opatoday profile image

      opatoday 4 years ago

      I loved it THANKS

    • MarcoG profile image
      Author

      Marc 5 years ago from Edinburgh

      @BestRatedStuff: Well, hope you get to see The Lion King, thoroughly recommend it!

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      the costumes look amazing, loved the film but have never seen the musical. Looks like it might be real fun to watch.

    • profile image

      fenellashorty 5 years ago

      Excellent lens. I love the film, but haven't seen the stage show yet.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      My favorite song is The Lion Sleeps Tonight

    • profile image

      JoshK47 5 years ago

      I've been wanting to see this musical for a long time - the movie is my favorite Disney film, so I figured with costumes and music like that, it must be amazing on stage. Blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Being a huge Disney fan, I would love to see this show.

    • artbyrodriguez profile image

      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      I didn't get to see this show yet. Great description and information.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 5 years ago

      This show was REALLY awesome!

    • serendipity831 profile image

      Drake McSherry 5 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      The Lion King is one my favorite musicals. I've seen it several times and it's absolutely brilliant. I love the movie too-it's actually one of my favorite movies. Loved this lens. Thanks so much. :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Brilliant website! I've seen the west end show twice now as well :) Its undescribable (sp?) whoops)

      This site is great :D

      Thanks!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i have lion king at my home

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      i love lion king

    • vanidiana24 profile image

      vanidiana24 8 years ago

      I think I'd watch the cartoon instead :). But, nice lens & very informative!

    • profile image

      elliespark 8 years ago

      I absolutely LOVE the Lion King songs - all the Disney songs!!

      Exquisite and clear, clean photos and lots of information!! GREAT Lens ;]

    • anthropos lm profile image

      Lamar Ross 8 years ago from Florida

      Great job on this lens. 5*'s from me.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 8 years ago

      we went to Chicago to see the play "Lion King" it was spectacular! immense talent with so much beauty...we sat close to the front, and the next time want to see it from a balcony....5*

    • AslanBooks profile image

      AslanBooks 8 years ago

      Very nice...beautiful pics.

    • Aaron Howard profile image

      Aaron Howard 8 years ago

      Nicely done - I love your careful placement of 1 Amazon item - doesn't overwhelm individuals looking to buy. Feeds into your lens just right!

    • Angelina Howard profile image

      Angelina Howard 8 years ago

      This lens is a work of art. Phenomenal job!! 5*.

    • MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 8 years ago

      Wish I could see this show...

    • dc64 lm profile image

      dc64 lm 8 years ago

      This looks amazing! You've put this all together so well, I really want to see the show.

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Yes it's a wonderful show - please keep up these theatrical offerings

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 8 years ago

      A very nice lens and very well presented.

    • profile image

      dandepp 8 years ago

      The lion king was a great movie - I may have to take one of my girl friends to see the musical! ;o)

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 8 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Great lens! Incredible show!

    • profile image

      bobzbazzar 8 years ago

      Very colorful and well set out I like it

    • Stazjia profile image

      Carol Fisher 8 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      Wonderful lens with beautiful pictures. Without a doubt, 5*.

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 8 years ago

      I haven't had the pleasure of seeing this on stage yet, but it's on my list!

    • profile image

      saraht43 8 years ago

      Great lens. Love the pictures and presentation.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 8 years ago from Idaho

      Great lens, I love the Lion King!

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 8 years ago

      That's the only show I've seen on Broadway and enjoyed every moment of it! Great lens, thank you for bringing up some beautiful memories... :)

    • BFunivcom profile image

      Allan R. Wallace 8 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Someday ...

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      I love this pictures of show! Great masks! Oh, I'm so unhappy for not being able to go and watch it!

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 8 years ago from London, England

      Another excellent lens (5*) Beautifully presented

    • kerbev profile image

      kab 8 years ago from Upstate, NY

      This show is a testament of what can be done when people set aside the constraints of media and push past them. Great job. Welcome to squidoo. I can't wait to see more from you. (blessings)

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      We saw this show in London and from the very moment the first note was played we were totally captivated. It was a fabulous experience for our young girls and I would recommend it to anyone. The costumes and the singing were absolutely amazing and as someone who gets involved in Amateur Musical Theatre, this is a show I would love to do - well I can dream, can't I? Lovely lens. 5*s

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 8 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Great lens. Those costumes are wonderful

    • cappuccino136 profile image

      cappuccino136 8 years ago

      Excellent lens. I was really upset that I missed this show when it came around my city on tour. Where did you get the photos? They are amazing. Great lens.

    • WritingforYourW profile image

      WritingforYourW 8 years ago

      Sounds like a good time. Love the pictures!

    • EelKat13 profile image

      EelKat13 8 years ago

      I love he costumes they use in this!

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • RichLeighHD profile image

      RichLeighHD 8 years ago

      I saw this one a good few years back now, I absolutely loved it however and really enjoyed your lens too. Very well laid out and an absolute pleasure to read! :)

    • profile image

      ChristiannaGarrett-Martin 8 years ago

      What a great lens! Wonderful pictures too and also beautifully written. 5 golden stars from me :)

      Christianna.

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Wow! Beautiful lens! We are huge fans of this movie and Disney show. Never seen the theatrical performance, but I'm sure we'd love it!

      I hereby bless this lens.