I recently got to see the Lion King and it was everything I’ve ever dreamed of. The Lion King is possibly one of the best kept long-running shows. It’s just as powerful as the day it premiered 21 years ago. One thing I love about this show is its risk-taking evolution.
This show has changed and shifted over the years and I think it’s gotten better. When I saw it, I’d noticed there were some changes they’d made to the script. I think this was brilliant choice to keep younger audiences and parents engaged so you don’t know what’s next. From jokes about twitter to Frozen they hit all the bases.
I talk a lot more about my overall view of the show on my podcast, which you can find here: https://youtu.be/3ZlKrrX17bg
And you can even read my mom’s post here: http://themomagerlifestyle.com/beyond-pride-rock/
#issabreakdown! (in order from the playbill)
Buyi Zama as Rafiki: I have no idea how long she’s played this role, but you can feel her connection to it. Her comfortability in the role is so pure and I loved getting to witness it. Watching her fully embody the role was a masterclass. Her comedic timing was almost a little too good. There was one moment in the show where I was crying laughing. If you can see her, do it!
Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa: this role here is so special to me! I’m going to start this by saying Gerald is massive without a costume on. There’s one point in the show where he came down the aisle right next to me and my whole jaw dropped. His walk, the costuming, it’s so powerful! There were moments that his stage presence was just so strong it was awesome!!! I love love love this performance. I’d go back just for this one alone.
Kimber Sprawl as Sarabi: I don’t know how but she gave just as much strength as Gerald did. Sarabi is power. Through every physical trait you can see the strength in her character. She didn’t shutter or hide from the bigness of Mufasa, she was Sarabi. Sarabi couldn’t careless about Mufasa’s position or even presence and that’s why this character works so well.
Greg Jackson as Zazu: His whole performance was hilarious. I must just shout him out for his puppet work. It’s difficult to physicalize an inanimate object but MAAAAAN, he did that! It was so good at times that I forgot he was there. His character work behind the scenes must be ridiculously intricate.
Mark Campbell as Scar: YES! YES! YES! During the show I saw there was a technical difficulty during one of his first lines. When the show came back he picked it right up where he left off and only professionals can do that. He won over the audience in that exact moment. All of it was great from be prepared to the end of the show I was along for the ride.
Martina Sykes, Keith Bennett, and Robbie Swift as Shenzi, Bonzai, and Ed: Just like in the movie they’re a great comedic back bone. It’s clear to see how close they are because the timing of their scenes was impeccable. It was almost like a moving energy they were all moving with. Seeing them just be in the characters and “Be” was DOPE!
Nick Cordileone as Timon: I love the extension of his character. If you haven’t seen the show you can find images of the timon costume/puppet. This is another one of those character that you forget is a puppet. You have to really get used to a puppet to do a show like this and I think he’s really comfortable with it. That comfort makes his performance so much better because you start to see something else that’s almost better than before.
Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa: He might have made this character even more than he was in the movies. I love the portrayal down to the voice he uses. His choices had parents and children laughing the whole show. which says something about his relationship not only to the spirit of the show but to his Timon partner.
Nia Holloway as Nala: YES MA’AM! Giving voice and lioness the whole show! I was living for all of it. Her Shadowland had me ready to throw my shoes at the stage. Giving straight clean 4K HD vocals! In my head all I said the whole show was YOU BETTER BE A SOPRANO! I love her voice and everything about her performance.
Gerald Caesar as Simba: Y’all this man was dancing for his life! He was belting whilst doing cartwheels. BELTING WHILE DOING CARTWHEELS! I can barely belt and run at the same time. His straining regimen must be ridiculous! On top of that his voice is crazy. I don’t even know how you get to that level of tenor, but he did. I don’t even know how he hit some of those notes cause they were HIGH! But man he hit those notes with confidence and was perfect!
You can find the rest of my review on youtube, just click the link i left earlier. now go and get your tickets!!! it’s running at the Fox Theatre until Jan. 28, 2018.