Our 5 favorite highlights of the musical event of the year will have you booking those Lion King tickets asap if you haven’t yet—lucky for you, they’re extending the season run for 2 more weeks!
Manila is more than blessed to be the first country to kick off the first international tour of the Tony Award Winning Musical Extravaganza Lion King—6 Tonys to be exact! After two months of intensive rehearsals, the much-awaited musical finally opened during the spectacular gala last March 28.
From the fantastical production design to the evocative musical numbers to the brilliant multinational cast, we were not only able to preview the show but also experience one of our fondest childhood memories on a different level—believe us, this is a must-see that you cannot miss!
Read on to see our 5 favorite things about the musical that’s sure to convince you to watch it ASAP—not that you need any more convincing, I’m sure.
Whatever scene that Rafiki is in, you can be sure that’s she’s going to steal it. Played by Ntsepa Pitjeng (who performed the role in the USA, UK, Brazil, and Switzerland productions), the character was given an entirely new—albeit fitting—energy that was pivotal in weaving the whole story together. Did we mention that her vocal acrobatics with the chants, songs, and even dialogues were crazy amazing?
2. LIONESS HUNT
The powerful dance sequence featured the ladies (including an adorable Young Nala) of the ensemble as they reenacted a hunting ritual performed by the lionesses. While the performance showcased the mesmerizing skills of the dancers, it also highlighted music (by none other than celebrated composer Lebo M) and choreography that pays tribute to African tradition. But what really makes this sequence special is the fact that it celebrated the natural circle of life—you have to watch to find out how!
3. COSTUMES & CHOREOGRAPHY
The musical showcases the masterpieces that makes the show great—the visual imagery evoked by the outfits and the dance. Drawing from various inspirations around the world (from African traditional dance to puppet techniques of Indonesia and Japan), the production is truly a treat for all the senses.
4. YOUNG SIMBA
Joining the global cast are Philippines’ own Julien Joshua M. Dolor Jr., Gabriel P. Tiongson, and Omar Sharief L. Uddin. They share the role of the charismatic Young Simba. It takes a whole lot to breathe life into the lion that everyone loves, but these kids more than get it—they are it! Your eyes will be glued to young cub as he learns the life he is to lead (laughing, dancing, and singing along the way). When he eventually grows up you’ll feel a tinge of sadness as you say goodbye to the Young Simba you’ve grown attached to.
Make sure to catch Young Nala too as the role is shared by three talented Filipinas: Sheena Kirsten Bentoy, Uma Naomi Martin and Felicity Kyle Napuli.
Every creature that stepped onstage will blow your mind. The different concepts per animal, the production of the designs (puppets, costumes, and masks), and the specific choreographed movement for each character are just some of the details that are sure to thrill you to no end. The overall effect is an immersive spectacle that will have you feeling the awe and amazement you felt back when you were a kid.
Wondering where you can get your hands on those tickets? Head on over to Ticketworld at www.ticketworld.com—and fast! Disney’s The Lion King extended their run until the 20th of May, which for us means a perfect summer!
Photos by RJ Roque