Lion King comes to town

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Campbell Smith, Staff Writer

On January 10, 2020 the Disney Theatrical Productions’, brought the Lion King to the Aronoff Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. The playwrights are Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi. Allers also wrote Aladdin. The music was written by Elton John and the lyrics were by Tim Rice.

When the musical starts out, Simba is born, and all the animals are celebrating his birth. Simba is the son of the king, Mufasa. Time moves forward a couple of years and Simba is a young cub, eager to be king. He plays with his best friend Nala. They experience adventure and then danger from Simba’s sinister Uncle Scar. They are rescued by Mufasa. Simba learns a lot from his dad, but then his dad dies. So, Simba needs to figure things out on his own. He leaves his home, Pride Rock, but eventually he will have to return and face his past.

Simba is a very important character, and the audience sees him grow from a baby to a cub to a grown-up lion. When he’s young he can’t wait to be kind and wants to be just like his dad. When he goes into the wild, he learns an important lesson; Hakuna Matata which means no worries. Then, he is content and has no desire to be king. Nala is also very important to the story. In the beginning she is playful and is always looking for adventure. Nala is also very stubborn. She is distressed when Zazu, a bird who cares for them, mentions that she and Simba are to be married. When she finds Simba living in the wild, she falls in love with him.

Two of my favorite performances were by Young Simba and Scar. Young Simba was played by Haven Alexander and was a vocal powerhouse. He captured the playfulness of Simba and knocked “I Just Can’t to be King” out of the park.  Scar was perfectly evil and made me love to hate him. He was played by Spencer Plachy. He sang really well in “Be Prepared” and his costume and mask were amazing.

At first glance, the set was really simplistic, but then I realized most of the set was made of people in costumes. The sun rising in the beginning looked really beautiful. Another element of the production that was incredible was the fact that I could see the people in the balconies making the sound effects. All the music sounded powerful because there was a live symphony. The costumes were my favorite and one of the best elements of the show. They were clever and helped give the characters both human and animalistic qualities.

One of the best parts of the musical is the opening scene. There are beautiful animals and there is so much to look at. All the animals come in dancing and singing down the aisles, so it gives you a really hands on experience. This scene was Molly deSola, eight grader’s favorite part, “It was my first time seeing the musical, but I’ve seen the movie. My favorite part was the opening scene with all the animals and costumes and how they came in through the aisles.”

The story of the Lion King can be powerful, especially if you have never seen the movie. It was Sophia Scherrer, eighth grader’s, first time, she said, “It was my first time at the musical, and I’ve never seen the movie. My favorite character was Rafiki because of the way she spoke and her bright, bubbly, personality. There was nothing about the show that I didn’t like.” Although Scherrer may have thoroughly enjoyed the Lion King,Ila Hill Williams, eighth grader said, “I liked it a lot for the most part, but I was disappointed about the fact that they cut out a lot of stuff that happens during the movie.” Molly deSola also said, “The only thing that I didn’t like was there was a scene in the second act that kind of went slow, but I also could have just been tired.” As a whole I thought that the show was very entertaining, beautiful, and incredible.