Springville, Utah, USA
This is what the web says in the most succinct matter about the Lion King –
“Based on the 1994 Disney animated film, THE LION KING continues to reign as one of the most popular shows on Broadway and around the world. The global phenomenon is the winner of more than 70 major awards worldwide, including the Tony Award® for Best Musical, and the Grammy® for Best Musical Show Album.”
Facts and the fiction of the tale aside, this Tim Rice and Elton John production, is a brilliant spectacle of light, color, music and creative genius. Nothing new there, as far as Broadway goes, especially if you have seen the Wicked at the Gershwin on Broadway from an orchestra seat, you think you have seen the pinnacle of all shows. Yet, Lion King left me in awe because this is the first time, I saw a two dimension, television screen cartoon, unfold into a three dimensional phenomenon with the vivacity of texture and color that was simply inconceivable.
I would hate to describe the details of the visuals, simply because it would take away the thrill from those who haven’t seen it, and also because the power of prose in any language is limited. The visuals are impeccable as is the music. Of course you have heard all the songs before and you think you know what to expect. Yet, the melody of the song is only accented and accentuated by what you see in front of your eyes. The frolic of “Hakuna Matata” or the romance of the “Can you feel the love tonight?” or the “life” in “Circle of life” are all just something you have to let your senses take in. Talking about it would be making it trite. My favorite however was a song “They live in you”, which is not in the cartoon. It plays twice, once when Mufasa explains to Simba, how the “great kings” look down from the skies, and later when Simba, himself makes that realization. For that latter scene alone, I would watch the musical many times over. I know I am dragging Neel to the Mandalay Bay at Vegas at the first available opportunity, the show has been running there for a while.
The show is on tour in different cities across the world, see it if you can, doesn’t really matter if you have a child to accompany you as an excuse or not. Once the lights dim and the strains of Rafiki wake up the Savannah, you will be one with the visions that will unfold in front of you, and forget the engineering details of lights, camera, actions and an amazing amount of mechanics…