Watching a play, musical, show or concert at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts is always a treat. It is especially sweet when I get to share the experience with my children. This time was extra special, my younger son and I, experienced “The Lion King” together for the first time. I still remember how much Lion King, the animated film, affected me when I first watched it. It was refreshing to see this musical through my son’s eyes, who had never seen the full animated feature (I saw Lion King 2 – he said – but of course, that isn’t the same.)
From the beginning, we were enthralled. Disney’s The Lion King combines masks, puppets, shadow plays, song, dance, and music in the most perfect way. Tony Award-winning director and designer Julie Taymor along with designer Michael Curry, hand sculpted and painted every prototype mask that now appears in the iconic “Circle of Life” opening of the show. Hand sculpted! Wow! With the masks, Taymor created what she calls “the double event” which enables the audience to see the characters as animal and human at the same time. You’d think this would be confusing especially to children, but it was seamless!
Disney King’s the Lion King is playing at Segerstrom Hall at Segerstrom Center for the Arts until November 1. The production features Patrick R. Brown as Scar, Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa, Mukelisiwe Goba as Rafiki, Drew Hirshfield as Zazu, Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa, Nick Cordileone as Timon, Aaron Nelson as Simba, Nia Holloway as Nala, Keith Bennett as Banzai, Tiffany Denise Hobbs as Shenzi and Robbie Swift as Ed. The role of Young Simba is alternated between BJ Covington and Tré Jones and the role of Young Nala is alternated between Savanna Fleisher and Mikari Tarpley.
So if you’d like your children to get a taste of Broadway and experience the magic of theater, do find a production of the Lion King! In Orange County, THE LION KING will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m., Sunday evenings at 6:30 p.m., Saturday matinees at 2 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 1 p.m. For more information, visit scfta.org
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626