Lion King Roars to Life

“ ‘Lion King ‘ is full of action, suspense, and drama,” was the response of members of the crowd to the newest Broadway sensation to come to Anchorage. This play has swept the hearts of thousands of teens and adults throughout the Alaska Center of the Performing Arts . The heartwarming movie that generations of children know and love has come to life in this astonishing three-hour play. “It was awesome,” Junior Bianca Armstrong said. The producers of this esteemed play Peter Schneider and Thomas Schumacher have added a few twists that deviate from the movie. New scenes have been added further explain some of the story and spectators are torn between the idea of this being an improvement or a flaw. There has also been a change in some of the characters from the movie giving more insight to the African way of life. Phindile Mkhize, a South African who portrays her rich culture through Rafiki using her native tongue and her voice, plays the role of Rafiki, the baboon that befriends Simba and Mufasa. There is also an abundance of comic relief found in the play; one character who fills the audience with laughter is Zazu, Mufasa’s domo played by Tony Freeman. Freeman brings his character to life presenting a new and amusing twist to Zazu. The main characters in the comic relief department are Timon and Pumba , played by Tyler Murree and Bob Amaral. These actors remain true to their characters roots and put the audience in an uproar whenever they are found on the stage. There are also the more serious characters Mufasa, Scar, Nala, and Simba. Although Simba, played by Chaz Marcus Flemming and Andre Jackson and Nala, played by Sade Murray and Marja Harmon, have their funny moments, they do a phenomenal job in portraying the anguish and suffering the characters have felt throughout their lives. Between Mufasa, played by Dionne Randolph and Scar, played by Timothy Carter, the audience can really put themselves into the play and experience the anger and hostility these two characters feel toward each other. Besides the characters of the play audiences are awestruck by the beauty of the animal costumes and props. The costume designers spent over 1,700 hours on the costumes, which together weigh over 170 pounds. “It was awesome,” Junior Cameron Ginochio said, “All the colors and animals, especially the giraffes.” One thing can be said about this newest sensation, the Lion King is one thing you can’t miss. Students are shaking in anticipation to view what people call “the best show in existence.” “I can’t wait to see it,” said Junior Maile Guieb. “I am looking forward to the different types of African dancing.”