Friday, September 25, 2009

Disney's The Lion King on Stage at Mandalay Bay Review

From the start to you are taken into the Pride lands of Africa as the Lion King begins. There are character everywhere you look transformed into animals. You become one with the charaters right from the begining. True to story young Simba is introduced to the pride as the next heir by the baboon Rafiki, Father Mufasa and Mother Sarabi.
Circle of Life Opening The opening number “The Circle of Life” from THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

As the story progresses, the movement of the color in the skies and stunning Savannah takes you right along with the characters and their journey. The stage is one I have never seen before. It's almost another character. The way it moves, opens up, expands is really one of a kind. The make up and head dresses on the actors along with the shadow puppetry is beyond impressive. Each character is given a unique quality that is brought forth with their true resembling voices you remember from the movie.

Mufasa, Rafiki and Sarabi

Alton F. White, Buyi Zama, and Marvette Williams in the opening number “The Circle of Life”

from THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

Buyi Zama as Rafiki

Buyi Zama as “Rafiki” in the opening number “The Circle of Life” from THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009,

Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

Buyi Zama as Rafiki was my absoulute favorite. She has such a wonderful voice. Her singing is remarkable. Every seat is a great seat as The Lion King takes place in the same theater as its predecessor Mamma Mia which I was able to see durning its time at Mandalay Bay. The theater seating and wide aisles allow for some of the Lion King to be played out with the audience.

Thom Sesma as Scar

Thom Sesma as “Scar” in THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The familiar music, most by Elton John and Tim Rice, is orchestrated to perfection. Along with the drums and percussion that you can feel echo around you. The voices that these actors have are truly amazing. The songs both familiar and unique are ones that will have you humming their tune the next day.

Lionesses Dance “Lionesses Dance” in THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009, Disney.

Kissy Simmons as Nala

Kissy Simmons as “Nala” from THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

The costumes along with the animal like movement of the actors really blends in perfectly. The Lions catlike moves shows how the actors and the characters become one.

Mufasa.Scar Confrontation - Thom Sesma as “Scar” and Alton F. White as “Mufasa” face off in THE LION KING Las Vegas.

©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

The voice of Thom Sesma "Scar" and Alton F. White "Mufasa" were so familiar as they sound the same as they did in the movie The Lion King. It was a comfort to me.

Nala and Simba Embrace

Clifton Oliver as “Simba” and Kissy Simmons as “Nala” embrace in “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” from THE LION KING Las Vegas.

©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.


Giraffes and Cheetah

Marija Juliette Abney, Jeremiah Tatum, and Derrick Spear in the opening number “The Circle of Life” from

THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

Marija Juliettte Abney as the Cheetah really stood out and grabbed my attention. She looked proud to play the part of the cheetah. The way she walked as the cheetah with slow graceful steps really enhanced the play. While the Giraffes were something I haven't seen before and when they came out you could hear "oohs and ahhs"

Alton White as Mufasa

Alton F. White as “Mufasa” from THE LION KING Las Vegas. ©2009, Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

My other favorites like Timon and Pumba were there as well and I loved them! Timon and Pumba were full sized, and very comical. The hyenas were there as well. I was very happy when they used lines directly from the movie, because those lines are classic.

I was so happy I was given this chance to do this review. I had a wonderful time. I would love to thank the actors for the great job they did. They put their whole heart into their part and I appreciate that. Thanks also goes out to Tiffany! Thanks for allowing me to do this. It has meant so much to me.

So if you are in Las Vegas for SITScation why not take in a show? Think about how much you deserve to get to see The Lion King, and when will the next time you will get to have this opportunity?

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