Talk about a family-friendly musical that suits audience from all walks of life, The Lion King, currently touring at The Paramount Theatre, continues to claim the throne as the most successful musical even after 20 years since its debut on Broadway.
Whether you are a first timer or a lifelong fan of The Lion King, this classic Broadway production simply does not disappoint. Opening with a breathtaking scene of Circle of Life, the performance immediately takes you to the safari of Africa where animals pay tribute to the newborn king. The plot that follows is nothing unexpected – youth, treachery, despair, revenge, family duty – yet the cast still manage to bridge a sensational connection with the audience and create tear-jerking moments.
The story truly has something for everyone. If you are a new parent, take note from Mufasa especially the scene where he has to teach Simba a lesson about bravery and responsibility after Simba took Nala to the Elephant Graveyard. If you have lost a family member recently, this scene where Simba finds his father through reflection from the water may just be what you need. If you have been wanting to do some soul searching, hakuna matata, why not?
Not too into the storyline? Don’t worry, there is more to see throughout the three-hour show. For one, the colorful stage design and the African dancing should keep your toe tapping. Also try to listen to the languages spoken on stage and see if you can pick up any Swahili, Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho, Tswana or Congolese.
But above all else, what makes The Lion King such an unique and memorable experience is the design of the costume, masks, and puppets by Julie Taymor and Michael Curry. It is not uncommon to see animals characters on Broadway. But being able to transform the characteristics of animals and combine them with native African culture truly transcend the production from a regular Disney production to an all-time classic.
In fact, if you look into the design aspect of the costume, it is hard not to be in awe of the genius class of work and the details involved. The headdresses worn by Mufasa and Scar may look heavy but Mufasa’s mask weighs a mere 11 ounces and Scar’s mask is even lighter at 7 ounces. While it is impossible to miss the largest costume on stage, the giraffes, you really have to look for the smallest puppet as Scar reaches out to catch his dinner — a 5-inch tall mouse.
Since its premiere in 1997, 95 million people have fell in love during the 25 global productions. Why not join the club this holiday at The Paramount Theatre while The Lion King is touring in Seattle until January 6, 2019. For more information, visit www.stgpresents.org/paramount