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July 18, 2005
From journal London: The Trip of a Lifetime
Charlotte, North Carolina
April 3, 2005
The Lion King is the Broadway version of the animated movie by the same name from Disney. Julie Taymor directed and did most of the work for the show, while Garth Fagen provided the choreography, and Sir Elton John transformed his lyrics for the stage. The show tells of a young lion cub, Simba, who watches as his father dies and thinks it is his fault. It is actually his evil uncle Scar, who wanted to rule as the leader, but young Simba does not know that. He runs away trying to escape his guilt and learns how to survive, thanks to his friends Pumbaa and Timon. He finally finds out what happens and returns to his home to be the ruler, just as his father would have wanted.
Instead of putting her actors into furry costumes, Taymor decided to use rich fabrics, masks, and puppetry to show off her actors. The result is an amazing blend of characters that seem to come to live onstage. Everything about this show is amazing. The dance, the songs, just everything. You can’t but help watch this show in awe of the talented cast and its creators. Make sure that, whatever you do, that you do not miss the opening of the show. The cast comes in from the back of the house to the song "Circle of Life", and it will leave you simply stunned.
If you have never seen a Broadway show, then this would be the perfect place to start. This show is great for the whole family. And if you're like me and have already seen it before, then you will love seeing it in London. Five shows later, I would see it every night if I could. Two hours and 45 minutes later, you will be on your feet, shouting "bravo" and ready to see it again.
The current show is set to run through at least May 2006. They have several touring versions of the show. They also have cast shows in Germany, Australia, Japan, and the Netherlands. It also permanently plays at the New Amsterdam Theatre in NYC (I also have a review in my NYC journal). The first London showing was on October 19, 1999. The show is housed in the grand Lyceum Theatre, which has stood since 1871. They have a gift shop where you can pick up an assortment of Lion King merchandise. You can book your tickets through www.londontown.com, www.broadway.com, or www.disney.go.com. The show is still very popular, and I would recommend an advanced purchase. Half-price day-of tickets can be purchased at Leicester Square.
From journal Fun and Funky London