It’s just the best musical you will ever witness. From its fun festive costumes, to the innovative set design, to the new high technology projections and lights, the show will make you remember why live theater is so important. I saw the production here at The Pantages in 2000, and it seemed like the animals were the same as when I saw it the first time, but there are so many new ones and new innovations that it was well worth coming to see this new show. The colors, the sounds, the dancing, the singing are all perfect. Every part of this show is exciting and reflects all of the mass talent that brings it to life.
Disney’s The Lion King has a very special place in the hearts of Broadway in Hollywood. When the Walt Disney Company was seeking a home for the Los Angeles production of The Lion King in 2000, James M. Nederlander agreed to a $10 million renovation of The Hollywood Pantages Theatre in order to house the landmark production. The theatre was restored to its original 1930’s luster – complete with hand-painted gold leafing on virtually every inch of the lobby and auditorium – and technical accommodations for the grand staging of Disney’s all new production. The original L.A. Premiere production ran nearly two years on their beautiful stage. The Lion King was able to truly show what makes it so special. The music and lyrical adaptations by Elton John and Tim Rice, additional music and lyrics by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymore and Hans Zimmer, and book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. They created an incredibly lush backdrop that choreographer Garth Fagan used to merge traditional dance styles with Broadway pedagogy. Director Julie Taymor crafted a now iconic artistic world inspired by traditional theatrical styles from around the globe, and brought this story to life in a way few could have even imagined possible. The Lion King swept the Tony Awards and is now celebrating 20 years of touring North America. In a word, The Lion King is a masterpiece.
Most every theatre-goer has a story about the first time they saw this show. Whether it was the awe of seeing an elephant walk down the aisle, the joy of hearing the music as it swells over the Serengeti, or simply the thrill of hearing that “BOOM” of the drums at the end of the first number, no matter how many times you have seen it. this new production is a feast for your eyes.
My favorite cast members were: Rafiki – Gugwana Diamini Mufasa – Gerald Ramsey, Sarabi – Allison Danielle Semmes, Scar – Peter Hargrave, Simba – Darian Sanders, and Nala-Khalifa White. Each cast member delivered stellar performances, their singing alone was enough for me to watch and hear, they are all entertainers to the core. It’s so worth the price of admission, it is just one of the best musicals in the history of Broadway. With Disney at the helm what could be bad, right? Well, I am here to say nothing, it’s just a fantastic ride.
Broadway In Hollywood
The Lion King
The Pantages Theater
6233 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
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