The one event that was not attended by all of the trip was the musical performance of Disney’s The Lion King. Ten of our group attended this spectacular play, and “Just Can’t Wait to be King!” The musical was held in the Lyceum Theatere in London near Covent Gardens; home to another amazing musical My Fair Lady, which was filmed there. The traveling show will end in London this month, but is currently still on Broadway in New York City.
This was a fantastic musical especially for those in the group who had never seen a Broadway level production before. The story is familiar to anyone who has ever seen the Disney cartoon. While we did miss James Earl Jones’ speaking voice; the voices of the performers were amazing! However, the make-up artists and puppeteers deserves many awards for their work of creating animal like characteristics and mobility from the dancing actors and actresses. Please read the below paragraph from the program over the work of Julie Taymor and Michael Curry, the designers:
“The first piece they developed together was the ‘gazelle wheel’ a bicycle like contraption that is pushed across the stage by a dancer. It contains six mechanically leaping gazelle puppets which represents a herd of migrating animals. Taymoor calls this type of idea ‘the double event’; the audience sees the animals that is being represented and the technique to convey that animal without hiding the performer. She wanted The Lion King to celebrate what makes theater unique, and to keep the audiences’ imagination engaged.”
The general consensus from the Ag in the EU attendees was that the opening “Circle of Life” song was the best and brought many of the group nearly to tears. We as a group give this Two-Thumbs Up and recommend attending any time it is nearby.
Dr. Weathers and Ms. Lowman