Experience Africa
Copyright Disney - Photo by Deen van Meer

Experience Africa

With the Lion King

By Steven O. Evans, PhD

Yes, you have probably seen the beloved Disney movie, The Lion King, but venture to Africa with the Broadway show that has come to South Florida. Travel across the ocean and experience the animals, the jungle, and the characters that bring this show to life.

The Lion King plays at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts May 8 – May 26, 2019.

More than just a musical, the Lion King takes you on a journey through the struggle of the animal kingdom’s transfer of power. The king is gone and his successors battle for who will take the throne at the head of the food chain. Look beyond the traditional story and see the battle of good over evil.

It’s also a coming of age story. The young lion must grow and learn the skills necessary to take over his father’s throne. His leadership is necessary to repair what has been done by the the one in power. He must take responsibility for leading the broken kingdom to a new era.  

But if you don’t see the Lion King for the plot, the sets, music, costuming, and special effects are worth the trip. You’ll be taken to the jungles of Africa, as the characters come alive. You’ll be surrounded by birds, elephants, giraffes, hyenas, gazelles, zebras, and lions – oh my! If you’re lucky enough to have orchestra seats, they’ll parade right past you, as if you are on safari.

Copyright Disney - Photo by Deen van Meer

The music is spectacular. Yes, you’ll hear most of the well-known music from the movie. But the additional almost rock-opera style pieces create a unique atmosphere for the story. Jam with Simba, Mufasa, Scar, Timon, Zazu, and Pambaa.  

If (when) you go, pay special attention to the actors’ skill to create the characters. They are in difficult positions by crouching, hunching, and bending to make the animals come alive. The costuming is amazing.  Birds soar from above and fill the room. Life-like elephants parade through the crowd. The stampede of the herd creates a tumultuous thunder. And the dual role that actor and bird, Zuzu, play make for a mesmerizing portrayal of the character.  

So make plans to see the Lion King. It’s a show you definitely won’t want to miss.

Tickets are available at a www.ArshtCenter.org.  Show dates are May 8 – May 26, 2019.

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