Lion King - A Review
Remember the hit Disney Lion King movie that made you cry? Now Julie Taymor has turned it into a marvelous feast for all the senses.
The New Amsterdam Theater suddenly transforms into a stunning African landscape. You can almost feel the pleasantly chilly African night as the baboon starts to sing. Then, the dark-blue sky disappears. The sun rises. The public witnesses the exotic parade of giraffes, elephants, hippopotamuses and colorful birds that gather to praise their leonine ruler. The whole animal kingdom is celebrating the birth of the lion`s heir – Simba (played by Scott Irby-Ranniar)
Elton John and Tim Rice`s opening number “Circle of Life” is a mesmerizing spectacle for the public`s eyes and ears. The well-known hit “Can You Fell the Love Tonight” will also leave you speechless. Taymor and Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, Mark Mancina and Jay Rifkin have as well contributed with some extraordinary musical additions. Combining pop and traditional African sounds, The Lion King`s songs can be listened over and over again.
However, the music is not the only thing that makes this musical a true artistic masterpiece. The animals are impressionistic and graceful – a brave experiment between puppetry and costumes. Taymor`s touch is making the show special, a ritualized theater that takes Broadway by storm.
The plot follows the familiar story in the film. The newborn lion cub is presented to the jungle society. But the lion`s evil brother Scar (played by John Vickery) kills the lion king Mufasa (played by Samuel E. Wright) and banishes little Simba with the help of the sneaky hyenas.
The little cub ends up wandering on his own. While in exile, the young lion (played by Jason Raize who takes over from Irby-Ranniar) claims a victory over his inner doubts and fears. This is how he decides to return and take the throne he deserves.
The Lion King is more than a heartwarming representation of the famous animated movie. It is a divine Broadway show that is worthy of its immense popularity. This unforgettable musical will give you goosebumps! It`s a shame to miss it!