Friday, February 2, 2018

‘The Lion King’ is a sellout smash-hit in JAX

You may have friends who have seen the show, but have YOU experienced the grandeur of Disney’s “The Lion King”?  There are many opportunities in the US for you to attend this musical yet, if you live in Jacksonville, Florida you have eight more days to add this venue to your “must do” list.  You will want to make sure that you’re in your seats on time, because if you dilly-dally, you’ll miss a grand entrance at the beginning of both the first and second acts.

If you had the opportunity to visit the Starz Center in Tampa, Florida, in 2016 to see “The Lion King, you will notice that 6 of the actors (Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa; Keith Bennett as Banzai; Robbie Swift as Ed; Nick Cordileone as Timon; Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa and Nia Holloway as Nala) are now appearing in the Times Union Center’s production.

The opening scene of “The Circle of Life” performed by Rafiki and the Ensemble is stunning.  The actors approached the main stage from both aisles.  Every performer is very talented within his and her own right, but “Rafiki’s” (Buyi Zama) voice resounded just like that of former South African songstress
Miriam Makeba.  Young Simba (Joziyah Jean-Felix or Ramon Reed) and Young Nala (Danielle W. Jalade or Gloria Manning) are seasoned young actors who stole the show with their vocals, dance and execution of lines.

If you ever attended the stage presentation of “War Horse”, you will have an idea of the magnificent puppetry that “The Lion King” presents with the stilted giraffes and adult elephant.  Your eyes will have a fabulous treat as they behold the actors glide across the stage in their colorful costumes.  Take note how grass can dance in unison, to the accompaniment of an extensive live orchestra. Appreciate the dynamic percussion instruments manned by Mike Ramsey and Reuven Weizberg (also in last year’s show in Tampa).

The entire production (about 70 min. for act I and 60 min. for act II) is filled with nothing but color, music and talent.  A little bit of trivia, if you didn’t already know, “Hakuna Matata” means – “No Worries” and you will leave the theater with “no worries”.  There are many opportunities for laughter throughout the show especially when there is mention of “Let It Go” and “The Lion Sleeps Tonight”.

No singing can compare to that of Disney’s “The Lion King” except maybe for the musical “Cats”.  The dancing is as precise as that of any Alvin Ailey’s Dance Troupe with lots of interpretive style.  The backdrops are better than any from the Wizard of Oz while the moving staircase is very impressive.  If you desire an entertainment treat within the next couple of weeks, get your tickets and make it a-date-to-remember for you and your entire family.

Disney’s The Lion King

Sat., Feb. 3      2 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 3      8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 4      1 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 4      6:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 6     7:30 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 7
    7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Feb. 8    7:30 p.m.
Fri., Feb. 9      8 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 10     2 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 10       8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 11     1 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 11     6:30 p.m.

TICKETS: Range from $53 $169 plus applicable fees, and may be purchased online at FSCJ Artist Series (the official presenter of the Jacksonville show), or by calling (904) 632-5000 between 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Friday.  Discounts are available for groups of 10+ by calling (904) 632-5050.  Everyone, including infants and toddlers, must have a theater ticket for admission.

LOCATION:Times Union Center Performing Arts

Moran Theater
300 West Water St
      Jacksonville, FL 32202

No comments: