'The Lion King' Leaves Audiences Roaring at the Detroit Opera House
This Tony-Award winning show, based on the Disney classic, entertains audience members of all ages with extravagant costumes, beautiful songs and much more
You could feel the love throughout the entire Detroit Opera House during the opening weekend of The Lion King as theatergoers, young and old, anxiously awaited Mufasa and his brood to take the stage.
This Tony-Award winning show, based on the 1994 Disney-animated film, takes place in the Pride Lands of Africa—ruled by a lion king named Mufasa. His young son, Simba, is destined to take over the land after his father's death. But Mufasa's evil younger brother Scar has other plans for the king and the young prince.
The Lion King has been produced all over the world from Broadway to Taiwan. Audiences have expressed sheer joy and enthusiasm since the musical's original opening in 1997, and those feelings have resonated over the years. To date, more than 14 million theatergoers have seen the musical on stage.
The beauty of the Savannah and the pride of Pride Rock as Mufasa introduces his son, Simba, is one of the most memorable stage moments of any musical.
As the giraffes, elephants, birds and other animals made their way down the aisles during the first scene, the opening weekend audience cheered. Some of the most intriguing and entertaining elements of the show are the life-sized puppets and costumes. For example, actors walking on four stilts bring the giraffes to life, as the entire ensemble harmoniously sings "Circle of Life."
The amazing Buyi Zama plays Rafiki. Her strong vocals and comedic timing make it a delight whenever she comes on stage. She doesn't say a lot, but when she does, it adds a tremendous amount of humor and depth to the storyline.
Dionne Randolph is great as Mufasa—powerful and charismatic. The actor made it easy to believe that he was king as he led the show's beginning scene with his masculine stance and baritone.
Jelani Remy is everything a leading man, or lion, should be as Simba. He has the build, the voice and the grace of a hero. The triple threat can convincingly sing the lighthearted "Hakuna Matata" or "Endless Night" with the same amount of impact.
Syndee Winters is a magnificent Nala. The actress, who also has played the role on Broadway, is a beautiful and elegant lioness. The former New York Knicks City dancer nails the role.
The performance is everything that made audiences fall in love with the film and more—as it retains the timeless music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, with some additional song credits by Hans Zimmer, Lebo M, Jacques Loubelo and Mark Mancina.
"Be prepared," as the villain, Scar, says in the show. All of the wonderful things you have heard about this performance are true.
The Lion King is playing now through March 10, 2013 at the Detroit Opera House located at 1526 Broadway St.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday, 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, plus a 1 p.m. matinee on Thursday, March 7.
Ticket prices start at $25. See BLACdetroit.com's calendar listing for more details on The Lion King at the Detroit Opera House.