The Lion King
We finally got to see the touring Broadway production of "The Lion King." It has been playing here for several weeks and will close this weekend. We bought our tickets almost a year ago. I splurged for great seats and we ended up in the 13th row, dead center. What it lacked in being a musical (IMO) it made up for in pure spectacle. The songs that were used in the movie were fine. Pretty much everything else seemed like filler. It didn't have any new memorable songs like in "Avenue Q" or "Book of Mormon." I commented that when you have the backing of Disney, no expense is spared. Of course the merchandising machine was in full force. They even had people selling plushies during intermission like you would sell peanuts at a baseball game. So my overall review was that it was definitely worth seeing. The opening "Circle of Life" had half of the cast coming up the aisles in various costumes/puppets including a huge elephant and rhino. Of course the song was reprised as the closing number with the entire cast on stage. Let's just say that there was not a lot of room to move around up there. Yikes! Since this was a Broadway musical and not a show at Disneyland, there were no fursuits. On the one hand the various ways that the animals/characters were portrayed was very interesting. On the other paw it also seemed a mishmash. There were some characters that were simply actors with a little face paint and a costume that conveyed a sense of the animal. Then there were puppets. Then there were dancers that were not quite puppeteers who carried poles with bird kites on them or leapt with cutouts of gazelles. There was even shadow theater like you would see in places like Thailand. So there was always a lot going on. I'd have to say that my favorite scene was "Be Prepared" were there were at least 20 actors on stage in hyena puppet costumes. Extremely well done! Scar was also very good. I can't say the same for Mufasa. He reminded me too much of Titus from "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Only you Netflix people will get that reference.