By Cleavon Meabon IV, Contributor
There are certain theatrical productions that move you by grace, content, and great performers; however, the brilliance that is The Lion King is captivating simply by imagery from the beginning to the end.
Atlanta welcomes The Lion King with excitement and knowledge, April 10th – 27th at the Fox Theatre, pulling for every moment like the hungry Hyenas in the Elephant Grave Yard. We roared each time an iconic scene or song graced the stage during a special press preview this past Saturday.
I don’t believe there is anything currently on stage as breathtaking as the Circle of Life that opens the experience. I would dare say not only the atmosphere changed, but also the temperature and setting of the entire theatre took a turn as we were plummeted into the African Plains to witness the birth of Simba.
The costumes are the cleverest and most innovative creations I have ever seen. Who knew the art of puppetry and the beauty of the human body could transform into living breathing animals? There was not a moment that I felt like I was witnessing humans on stage.
The African culture that thrives in the production is true and not mocked. Rafiki, portrayed by Brown Lindiwe Mkhize, was the spark of the show for me. She greeted us in her native dialect. The clicks in her voice evoked questions and peaked my interest. Her voice had a heavy anointing that could only come from the motherland. She owned the stage.
Other standout performances included Jordan A. Hall and Nya Cymone Carter – the two children that portrayed Young Simba and Young Nala. They were succeeded by two awesome adult versions of Simba and Nala portrayed by Jelani Remy and Nia Holloway. The parallel between the young and the adolescence lions was seamless.
There are many others to name in this testament of love, betrayal, and the power of family bonds. The production is simply timeless. I could watch it again and again, and the great thing is… I would find something new each time. Parents and children alike will love the endearing characters, unforgettable music and breathtaking color the inspirational production displays. Be sure to catch the Lion King during its Atlanta run by visiting the FoxTheatre.org for ticket and schedule info.
ABOUT LION KING
The story follows Simba as he runs away from home following the murder of his father, Mufasa, by his villainous uncle, Scar. Simba makes a lot of friends on his way to self-discovery. The heartwarming story of good triumphing over evil is set to all the favorite songs of the film, including “Can You Feel The Love Tonight,” “Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata,” “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” The musical features an incredible score, including songs by renowned songwriters Elton John and Tim Rice.
The Lion King musical opened in 1997 and won six Tony Awards in 1998, including Best Musical, Best Costume Design for a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Scenic Design for a Musical, as well as earning five other nominations.
Tickets are available online or by calling 1-855-ATL-TIXX for as low as $35 plus any applicable fees. VIP tickets are also available. The Fox Theatre is located at 660 Peachtree Street NE in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information, please see the Fox Theatre’s website. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to see an incredible animated film brought to life before your very eyes.