The Lion King holds a special place in my heart. Back in 2011, I was invited to walk the “green” carpet in Los Angeles for the re-release of The Lion King in 3D. I was treated to some phenomenal experiences, which you can read all about here. I, however, had yet to see Disney’s The Lion King on the stage before last night! One of the add-ons to the Broadway at the Eccles 2022-2023 season, we are fortunate to get the opportunity* to take our family and see this epic tale.
This was a much anticipated show for me to see. I knew when we found our seats and looked over and saw drums and other instruments in the box seats above ours that this has potential to be different than the other shows I had seen before.
The lights dimmed and the curtain rose, revealing the Eastern African inspired backdrop of Pride Rock. This opening scene is an absolute treat for the eyes set to the song “Circle of Life.” Animals of all kinds appear to welcome the arrival of Simba, the son of King Moufasa. The music, the lighting, and the costumes are beyond anything I have ever seen on stage before. In fact, it was something that stuck with me throughout the entire production. I had never seen such spectacular costumes and movement on stage before.
The story mirrors that of Disney’s The Lion King animated movie that I love. But, it is brought to life in such a creative fashion, you are absolutely mesmerized. I can not express how incredible it is to see giraffes cross the stage and when you look closely, but you do have to look hard, you can see an actor’s body integrated so seamlessly in the costume. It is really impressive!
Dance is very much a part of this stage production, as well. It is amazing to watch bodies mimicking the movements of animals and tricking you into seeing lionesses hunt their prey, wildebeests stampede, and hyenas pounce. Even dancers disguised as landscape help move the story along. It is all so graceful and beautiful to experience.
Then, of course, is the music. The songs are well known and loved among all ages, with new songs interwoven into the story. There are the very popular songs that everyone loves.
Rafiki (performed by Gugwana Dlamini) kicked the show off on an incredible note with the Zulu words “Nants ingonyama bagithi baba” “Sithi uhhmm ingonyama” belted out and you can’t help but feel chills.
Young Simba (Jaylen Lyndon Hunter)and Young Nala (Scarlett London Diviney) did a great job singing “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” Moufasa’s (Gerald Ramsey) “They Live in You” was touching as he sang to his son. “Hakuna Matata” is always fun and the transition from Young Simba to the older Simba (played by Darian Sanders) was fantastic. I really enjoyed songs by the Ensemble, the harmony and tones were lovely to listen to. The Entr’acte of the Act Two was especially a treat as they sang “One by One“. It was absolutely beautiful to hear the African singing.
Nala (Khalifa White) sang a beautiful rendition of “Shadowland” and Scar (Spencer Plachy) played the perfect villain with every song he sang.
We thoroughly enjoyed seeing Disney’s The Lion King on stage. The audience was made up of many families and watching the expressions on the children’s faces throughout the production was very fun. You could tell it was an absolutely magical experience for them. I would highly recommend taking your children to see it while it is in Salt Lake City, running now through October 23rd. It would be an incredible introduction to musical theater for anyone who hasn’t had the opportunity to go before and for those that have, just an amazing, mesmerizing experience.
Giraffes strut. Birds swoop. Gazelles leap. The entire Serengeti comes to life as never before. And as the music soars, Pride Rock slowly emerges from the mist.
More than 100 million people around the world have experienced the awe-inspiring visual artistry, the unforgettable music, and the uniquely theatrical storytelling of this Broadway spectacular – one of the most breathtaking and beloved productions ever to grace the stage.
Winner of six Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, The Lion King brings together one of the most imaginative creative teams on Broadway.
Tony Award®-winning director Julie Taymor brings to life a story filled with hope and adventure set against an amazing backdrop of stunning visuals. The Lion King also features the extraordinary work of Tony Award®-winning choreographer Garth Fagan and some of Broadway’s most recognizable music, crafted by Tony Award®-winning artists Elton John and Tim Rice.
There is simply nothing else like The Lion King.
For more information and to purchase tickets for your family, click here.
Zions Bank/Broadway at the Eccles
Disney’s The Lion King
September 29th – October 23rd, 2022
Delta Hall at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Theater
Salt Lake City, Utah
*The VIP Ticket Package includes the best seats in the theater and a Souvenir Program and exclusive cinch bag.*
A lively stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning 1994 Disney film, THE LION KING is the story of a young lion prince living in the flourishing African Pride Lands. Born into the royal family, precocious cub Simba spends his days exploring the sprawling savanna grasslands and idolizing his kingly father, Mufasa, while youthfully shirking the responsibility his position in life requires. When an unthinkable tragedy, orchestrated by Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar, takes his father’s life, Simba flees the Pride Lands, leaving his loss and the life he knew behind. Eventually companioned by two hilarious and unlikely friends, Simba starts anew. But when weight of responsibility and a desperate plea from the now ravaged Pride Lands come to find the adult prince, Simba must take on a formidable enemy, and fulfill his destiny to be king. A vibrant and exciting tale from the great creatives at Disney, THE LION KING is a story of love and redemption that nobody should miss.
Run time: 2hrs, 30mins with 1 intermission.
Children under 2 will not be admitted. Recommended for ages 6 and above.
*we were invited to facilitate a feature, all opinions are my own*
I loved Lion King- hard to describe how amazing the staging and costuming is. Favorite song is “Can You Feel the Love Tonight”. When I saw the stage show, sat in the orchestra at the aisle- best seats especially for “Circle of Life”