One of my all-time favorite musicals, Disney‘s The Lion King, is back in Seattle at The Paramount Theatre now through January 6. Walking into this gorgeous theatre is a gift in itself. Seeing the incredible costumes and puppetry in this production is a jaw-dropping experience. The cast of this tour is incredibly strong – we loved Mpume Sikakane (who was the understudy performing on Press Night) as Rafiki. Her powerful voice and stage presence are captivating. Also notable were Danielle Jalade as Young Nala, Jared Dixon as Simba, and Nia Holloway as Nala, and Thabani Buthelezi (Ensemble – notably in the purple and yellow outfit in Act Two’s opening number “One by One.”
There’s a reason this is Broadway’s third longest running show in history & the highest grossing Broadway production of all time: it’s a wonderful production on so many levels. The puppetry and costuming alone are worth the ticket price. The scenes with the entire company on stage as birds and four-legged creatures are moving and powerful. Somehow, the choreography, costuming, and performances have enough magic to make even grass interesting to watch!
Fun fact: Julie Taymor became the first woman to win Best Direction of a Musical Tony Award for her direction of The Lion King on Broadway. The show also won a Tony for best Choreography that same year.
If you’re a fan of The Lion King movie and haven’t seen this production, treat yourself and a loved one to this production. My +1 for the night, my dear friend Rusty, had very high expectations and they were absolutely met. It was such a joy in itself to sit next to him as he saw this production for the first time. At once point, he leaned in and whispered “I am having SUCH a great time” with such glee on his face. “Ooh there’s more!” he clapped as the powerful number opened Act Two. As I walked up the aisle during intermission, I heard many comments of awe and wonder shared by other audience members, including one woman who was telling her friend “I think my mouth has been open in amazement from the start of the show!” I can relate.
Having already seen the show, I wasn’t sure if the magic would still be there for me, but it absolutely was. I would see this show every year if I had the chance. And, yes, I have been singing “Oh I just can’t waaaaait to be king” in the streets of Seattle all month.
The show runs through January 6 and you’ll want to buy your tickets now.
(Note: on Saturday, January 5 at 2pm there will be a Sensory Friendly Performance. This performance is for individuals with sensory, social and learning disabilities and their families. Slight adjustments to the performance will be implemented such as reduction in jarring sounds and elimination of strobe lights focused into the audience. For more information, including how to purchase tickets, please visit.)
I love this show. I just watched the montage video again and got chills again just with those opening lyrics. “Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba Sithi uhm ingonyama.”
Seriously. Take a peek:
Photo by Brinkhoff Mogenburg