“The Lion King”
By Roger Allers, Irene Mecchi, Elton John and Tim Rice
At the Hippodrome Theater through January 8
By Tori Brown
BE PREPARED FOR A BREATHTAKING SHOW
Even Though “The Lion King” was a Disney show, it was far from just a show for children. With the timeless song “Circle of Life” flooding the theater, even the oldest patron felt like a child again. When the staged filled with a multitude of breathtaking animals, bringing the audience to Pride Rock for the presentation of Simba, even the older audience members were lifted by a lighthearted excitement.
To make the show appealing to more than just children, writers Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi incorporated some jokes that only older members of the audience would understand. When Scar (J. Anthony Crane) sings “The Madness of King Scar,” he talks slyly about “having cubs” with Nala (Syndee Winters). The show did wonderfully at keeping the entire audience’s attention with the jokes and music.
Not only did the animals inhabit the stage for the opening number, they swarmed into the audience and boxes. Costume designer and director Julie Taymor did an extraordinary job in taking the portrayal of animals to an entirely new level through acting and costuming. The cheetah, giraffes and elephant wore the most notable ensemble costumes.
The cheetah had a body suit with the body of the animal encasing his waist while the arms and head were like marionettes, Each giraffe was balanced on a set of four stilts and topped by incredible head pieces that strapped to their head. The Elephant was an enormous costume controlled by four people, one person in each leg and another controlling the trunk and ears. The way the costumes were rigged helped make the show feel more authentic to the audience. The costumes were designed to look more real, taking the literal shape of the animal, making the audience feel as though they were surrounded by actual animals, not actors in masks. This was a major part of...
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