It’s one of the biggest shows in the world and this week The Lion King has roared its way back  to Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts’ Walt Disney Theatre for a special extended run.

Based on the classic Disney film of the same name, The Lion King onstage utilizes the magic of puppetry to bring the story of errant cub Simba to life.

Beginning with the classic “The Circle of Life,” the audience witnesses a magnificent processional through the aisles of the theater showing off the elaborate puppetry that will be on display throughout the show.

In addition to the opening number, other tunes from the the classic film are also present, as well as new music with a traditional African style created specifically for the stage musical.

The show receives a wonderful boost of comic relief toward the end of the first act with the arrival of meerkat Timon (a winning Nick Cordileone), warthog Pumbaa (a hilarious Ben Lipitz) and the show-stopping “Hakuna Matata.”

In fact all of the actor/singers are great, specifically onstage narrator Rafiki (Buyi Zama), Simba’s dad Mufasa (Gerald Ramsey) and his dastardly uncle Scar (Mark Campbell).

The musical breezily charts Simba’s exile from, and return to, Pride Rock. It’s a familiar story to most, made fresh with the innovative staging, additional music, and inventive choreography. It’s a theatrical event not to be missed.

The Lion King plays the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m. T-F through Friday, March 9; at 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays through Saturday, December 30; and at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays through Sunday, December 31. Click here to purchase tickets.


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