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In the (Phoenix) jungle

February 4, 2009 Leave a comment

Saw The Lion King at ASU Gammage last night.  I’m a pretty big theater fan for anyone who knows me, especially musicals.

Four things.

  1. This is the same old tired Lion King story you remember from the movie.  Same Disney obsession with monarchies and the perfect societies they usher in.  Same silly gazelle bowing down to the lion who will eventually eat them.
  2. This version actually showed the lions hunting (and killing) the gazelle.  Props to whoever inserted that scene.
  3. Costume design and set design still has space to be insanely innovative and stunning.  I saw some of this at the Tony’s last year and sort of knew what to expect but it’s entirely different in person. Wow.
  4. Never underestimate the emotional impact of a big-ass drum and the lights going out at the same time.  The end of the opening number with the drum had much of the visceral emotion I thought made the end of Act 1 of Wicked the best bit of theatrical theater I have ever seen.
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