REVIEW: The Lion King

Due to it’s inability to ever disappoint, The Lion King stage production shows little signs of slowing down. The famous story of a relationship between a lion cub and his father, as well as the circle of life, is a theme almost everyone can relate to.  Last night’s performance was my fifth time seeing the show and it’s one of those shows that never gets old.

The cast was spectacular.  It’s hard to pick a standout but I almost instantly fell in love with elder Simba (played by Darian Sanders) who performed the most touching rendition of Endless Night and Peter Hargrave as Scar who was delectably wicked. You won’t be disappointed with the talent selected for these iconic characters!

The show is largely perfection, carried out repetitively and without variation through the years.  For whatever reason, the sexy shirtless go-go dancer hyennas number remains as well as the incredibly creepy scene where the old villain Scar attempts to get a significantly younger Nala as his wife so she can breed him a lot of heirs. These scenes are entirely unnecessary, a bit gross and not exactly what I’d want my child seeing but I took my child nonetheless and have no regrets.  A few other modern jokes were sprinkled in to keep it fresh and they were really nicely integrated with the existing material.

Another nitpicky critique is that I felt the vocal performances were a bit restrained at times particularly with the first rendition of He Lives in You.  If you’re like me and listen to the Broadway cast recording frequently, you’ll note particular places in the songs where the characters have an opportunity to get deep and belt out emotional notes.  Its not that these notes weren’t sung strong last night, but I felt as if they weren’t as strong as they could have been if there wasn’t a long tour ahead.

Despite these picky critiques, The Lion King is, and always will be King.  It’s a show that’s exceptional and can be appreciated by all.

SPECIAL ALERT: Student Rush – all performances (except Sensory Friendly)
– 2 ticket limit per valid Student/Educator ID
– Starts 2 hours prior to show in person at the Orpheum Theatre
– Line forms outside the theatre
– Seats will be scattered singles, there will be no pairs available

The Lion King is at The Orpheum Theatre through April 28, 2024. Tickets start at $39.

Photo by Matthew Murray