The Lion King is the tale of a young cub named Simba and his journey though life. Disobeying his father and going to a forbidden section of the land, his father searching for young Simba is crushed by a heard of moving wildebeests. Simba thinks he caused his fathers death and in shame, leaves his family and journeys into the forest. He has help along the way from his friends Timon and Pumbaa. He finds out that it was actually his evil uncle, Scar, who really killed his father. Eventually he returns home to his mother and friend Nala. He takes his fathers place as the Lion King and continues the circle of life as those who came before him.
The show is absolutely wonderful for the whole family. This cast was simply amazing and brilliant. The music from the show is one of my favorite albums. I listen to Circle of Life and They Live In You all the time. I just don’t have enough lexis to tell you how astonishing this show is. If you ever get a chance to see it, make sure you do. Nothing you will ever see again can compare to the splendor of this show.
Even though the cast as a whole was phenomenal, there were a few exceptional performers. Phindile Mkhize, who is from South Africa, was mind-boggling as Rafiki. Dan Donahue as Scar and Thomas Corey Robinson as Simba’s dad, Mufasa were brilliant. As a side note and Broadway trivia…Heather Headley played the adult Nala in the original Broadway cast of the Lion King. In 2000 she once again wowed audiences as Aida in Disney’s Aida at the Palace Theater in NYC along side Adam Pascal as Radames, who was the original Roger Davies in the 1996 initial cast of RENT. Adam can currently be seen reprising his role in the movie version of RENT in movie theaters.
I do have a few complaints about the show. My first is in regards to the dress of people at the show. Here in Charlotte people still dress for a night of Broadway. Men are characteristically in suits while ladies don evening gowns. I always look forward to dressing up for my evening out. This is not the movie and it is my pet peeve for anyone to show up in blue jeans. If you can afford $70 for a ticket you can afford to wear a nice dress or pants. Also Chrysler Hall seemed too undersized for the show. The show starts off with the cast coming from the back of the house. Here, only about half of the cast went down the isle. From where I was sitting I could see one of the elephants trying like crazy to get through the door. During the first number, Circle of Life , the stage just seemed too crowded.
For parking try the parking deck at Macarthur Center. It is only a few minutes walk to the center and parking is only $!!
Chrysler Hall is a 2500 seat performing arts center, which is home to the Virginia Symphony. Upcoming shows for 2006 include RENT in February, Chicago in April, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in May. All wonderful shows. So if you live in Norfolk go and buy a ticket. You want regret it. For more information or to order tickets go to www.sevenvenues.com. Or for more information on Disney’s shows or to order tickets, like I did, go to www.disneyonbroadway.com.