I know I am supposed to be the movie review guy, but last week I went and saw The Lion King live performance at Esplanade (shout outs to Ms. Kat) and I thought it was absolutely spectacular. I have been to a couple musicals live, such as Cats, Wicked and The Book of Mormon but to be honest none of them really lived up to The Lion King
What were its strengths?
- The costumes were ingenious. The way they utilised the costumes along with stage angles to give the facade of reality
- The “animals” were very well done. You could tell were human but that really didn’t break any of the immersion. You can see the person acting as a giraffe but you still process the character as a giraffe since it looks and is acted very seamlessly
- The choreography was well timed and well executed, utilising the stage very well
- The actors came from all sides including above and behind the theatre, encapsulating it
- The choreography was also very good for transitions
- The songs, both from the movie and new for the musical were superb. They developed the plot in a clear manner, easily understood lyrics and good scenes to go with it
- The harmonies were also amazing
- The scene with the wildebeest was phenomenal
- The child actors, only about 10-12, performing on stage in front of thousands of people were very impressive. There were some things to be desired with the child actors but on the whole it was very impressive
- The technical effects were done very well, drawing your attention to one thing so something else can occur in the background without the audience noticing to set up for a shock
- The dynamic between Pumba and Timone is just as funny as I remember
- The portrayal of Timone was still very good, how the utilised a puppet that looked like the original character and had the puppeteer blending with the background
- Similarly, Zazu was handled in the same way but the puppeteer was also part of the character and gave Zazu flair, while the actual puppet was only used here and there
- It told a compelling storyline faithful to the original, adding its own spin on things here and there
- It still pulled on my emotional strings and I teared up at a couple points throughout the production
Now, in defence of the other side, I am quite a musical nut. I have loved and will always love broadway performances and it has quite literally been a consideration for my career path. This means I cannot be unbiased in this review but it blew my mind. See this live while you can and I guarantee it will be worth your while if you have even a remote interest in live performances. If it has already left Thailand, that is unfortunate and if you ever get a chance to see it, take it.
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