award-winning best musical, The Lion King, is back in the Motor
City at the Detroit Opera House. It is one of the most popular
touring productions currently on the road. AmericaJR.com went
on Feb.15, 2013 and the place was packed. Not a single seat was
empty. Adults and kids alike sat impatiently waiting for the show
curtain rose and the sun was rising on the savanna. The giraffes,
elephants and hyenas came running down the aisles of the theatre
to the stage. High atop Pride Rock, Mufasa, the Lion King, (played
by Dionne Randolph) and Sarabi, the Queen (played by Tryphena
Wade) introduced their newborn son Simba to all the animals. Scar,
Mufasa's resentful brother, (played by Timothy Carter) is jealous
that Simba will be the future king. He wants that title for himself.
goes on and Simba grows into a cocky young cub, getting into trouble.
His father tells him "Everything lives in delicate balance
called the Circle of Life, you must respect all creatures."
plots a plan to kill Simba and Mufasa so that he can rule the
kingdom. He creates a stampede, where the wild beasts rush to
the stage and Simba grabs onto a tree branch for safety. Simba
is convinced he killed his father and he leaves the Pridelands
and heads for the jungle and makes new friends. Simba meets Nola
and realizes their romantic feelings. The song "Can you feel
the love tonight" is sung.
the meantime, the Pridelands become dry and lifeless under Scar's
rule. Simba returns to Pride Rock and Scar cannot believe he is
still alive. Scar finally admits that he had caused his father's
death. As Simba is overcome with rage, he leaps towards Scar and
grabs him by the throat. A battle ensues. Then Simba flips his
uncle over the side of the cliff.
the sun comes up, Simba climbs to the top of Pride Rock and his
friends come forward acknowledging him as the new Lion King. All
the animals rejoice as the Circle of Life continues.
play/musical portrays a lot of African tradition. The costumes
and masks are very unique and creative. Human beings wear animal
attire and are puppets which are controlled by themselves. The
puppeteers operate the hands with a rod and some are operated
by more than one person. One handles the arms, and the other manipulates
the legs. They are human animals. There is a human face behind
the mask to reveal facial expression so you can clearly see their
expression or attitude. The masks are worn over the head instead
of over the face.
costumes have African-styled beadwork, corsets, armor and some
are made of cloth.
is also shadow puppetry. Fingers twisted in front of a light beam
which can create different animal shapes.
sets and lighting are exceptional. Pride Rock creates happiness
and full of life and the Elephant graveyard represents death and
danger. There were countless set changes which make this musical
music incorporated five songs by composer Elton John and lyricist
Tim Rice. Africa is home to many cultures, and the music is an
important part of everyday life. Songs were written to entertain,
teach, encourage, mourn and heal. It is a form of expression in
order to tell a story.
thought is was a great musical and would definitely recommend
Lion King returns for a four-week engagement from February 13
to March 10, 2013. The Detroit Opera House is located at 1526
Broadway in Detroit. There are evening performances along with
Saturday and Sunday matinees. Tickets are now on sale at the Fisher
Theatre Box Office, Detroit Opera House Box Office and all ticketmaster
locations or by phone at 1-866-870-2717 and online at www.ticketmaster.com.
Tickets start at $25.00.
'LeCage Aux Folles' is fabulous at Detroit's Fisher Theatre
credit: Joan Marcus / Disney
Tree of Life from THE LION KING National Tour.
credit: Joan Marcus ©Disney
Winters as “Nala” and “The Lionesses”