Everybody loves The Lion King, possibly the best Disney flick of the 90s and for years one of the most-enjoyed shows in the theater world. It’s still a must-see show for anyone visiting New York City, especially those on a vacation.
The Lion King on Broadway
In case you haven’t seen it, The Lion King is a Broadway production of beastly proportions and well worth your time. There is no attempt to mask the wheels and puppeteers that work the stage. You as an audience member are required to adapt to the mix of human and animal elements—and you will, as audiences are captivated by the emotional storytelling and elaborate costumes. Groups of dancers gracefully masquerade across the stage, either carrying or wearing props that depict people, landscapes and animals from the African savannas. Beautiful robes and sheaths clothe the dancers, and larger-than-life, fantastical masks sit above the dancers’ heads rather than their faces. This element allows the dancers to not be overtaken by the masks, as the masks simply accentuate the animal traits of the character. The representations become recognizable on both an animal and human level, which adds the element of connection between you and the performers. Other ways of depicting animals throughout the musical include large expressive Bunraku puppets and shadow puppets.
The performance mainly follows that of the film: a coming of age of young Simba, and journey through the African savanna. You will see Simba progress into an adult, and watch him cross paths with Nala, Scar, the Hyenas and of course, Timon and Pumbaa. Many of the songs from the original movie are included, and will likely be stuck in your head for the remainder of your vacation. Like the movie, and any good performance, you will go through a roller coaster of emotions, as the plot presents uplifting and happy moments (Hakuna Matata) as well as the devastatingly sad points (Mustafah’s death).
A Tony and a Grammy
The performance is about 2 ½ hours, with Intermission. Thanks to its detailed costumes, beautiful masks and creative backdrops and props, The Lion King is one of the most popular shows on Broadway around the world. It has won over 70 major awards, including a Tony for Best Musical and Grammy for Best Musical Show Album.
If you’re planning a vacation to New York City, check out show times at the Minskoff Theatre for this exceptional show. The creativity behind the scenes is incomparable, and a great complement to the original story. The concierge can assist you in getting tickets, and offer suggestions for pre- or post-show dinner and drinks.