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The Lion King

The Lion King is a 1994 American animated epic musical drama film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The story takes place in a kingdom of lions in Africa, and was influenced by the biblical tales of Joseph and Moses, and the Shakespeare plays Hamlet and Macbeth. The film was produced during a period known as the Disney Renaissance. The Lion King was directed by Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, produced by Don Hahn, and has a screenplay credited to Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts and Linda Woolverton. The film features a large ensemble voice cast led by Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Moira Kelly. It tells the story of Simba, a young lion who is to succeed his father, Mufasa, as king. However, after Simba’s uncle Scar murders Mufasa, Simba is fooled into thinking he was responsible and flees into exile in shame and despair. Upon maturation living with two wastrels, Simba is given some valuable perspective from his friend, Nala, and his shaman, Rafiki, before returning to challenge Scar to end his tyranny.

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The Lion King


Disney’s children’s classic, The Lion King, has given a victorious roar as New Zealand’s top family film.

New Zealanders picked The Lion King as the No 1 family film of the last 20 years, according to canned fruit and vegetables company Watties.

The business released the results of an online poll a week ahead of its 20th Cans Film Festival in which cinemagoers pay for cinema tickets with canned food which is then donated to the Salvation Army’s food banks.

The Lion King received more than half of the votes in the poll.

Finding Nemo and Dr Seuss’ The Lorax, came second and third.

Festival co-ordinator Glenys Henry said: “Many of these great family films have been shown at The Wattie’s Cans Film Festival since it began in 1994 and we look forward to once again offering Kiwis the opportunity to see a blockbuster film, for just the price of a can of food.”

This year’s festival is on Wednesday next week. For every can donated, Wattie’s will match it with one of their own to ensure Kiwis get the help they require this Christmas.

The Salvation Army distributed more than 17,000 food parcels to needy families last December alone.

Tickets for this year’s festival go on sale tomorrow at participating cinemas nationwide.

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Review: The Lion King, Edinburgh Playhouse

Saturday morning, and across my computer screen flits a picture of a happy customer standing outside the Citizens’ Theatre in the Gorbals, clutching a ticket for the company’s current production of Sam Shepard’s True West, and a giant replica of a 50p piece.

The customer is one of the happy crowd who – by joining a long early-morning queue – landed one of the 100 tickets that go on sale for 50p, on the Saturday before the opening of each Cits’ production. And the price is special not only because it is very low – compared with a £14-£19 full price ticket – but because it represents a deliberate tribute to that great phase of the Citizens’ history, back in the 1970s when the great north wall of the theatre bore the giant legend “All Seats 50p”, in writing that could be read a quarter of a mile away, across the Clyde.

It wasn’t then – and it isn’t now – that the Citizens’ was a home of “poor theatre”, in the sense explored by the great Polish director, Jerzy Grotowski, in the 1960s.

At the Citizens,’ during the famous directorship of Giles Havergal, Philip Prowse and Robert David MacDonald, there was always a fair amount of public subsidy, and what looked like a lavish and gorgeous approach to scenic design. The triumvirate knew, though, that theatre needed an open, accessible, and honest relationship with the widest possible audience to have any hope of remaining alive, and truly radical. The “All Seats 50p” slogan was consciously designed to break down any barriers of class and wealth that still cling around the idea of theatre, and to invite all the people of Glasgow into the building; they came in their thousands, and for many the experience was life-changing.

Source at :  THE scotsman

The Lion King Spotlight: Aaron Nelson

Broadway-The Lion King

As Lion King fans gear up for another resurrection of a childhood favorite, The Lion King Broadway Musical Event gears up its paws for another round of performances.  With the Broadway show entering its 16th Anniversary, rating as the highest grossing Broadway show of all time, fans are beginning to drum up as much buzz for the stars as they do the show.  The star highlighting the show, Aaron Nelson, is worth mentioning.  Chicago native and Broadway newbie, Aaron Nelson plays The Lion King’s main star, Simba. We thought we’d turn the spotlight up on this lovable character to hear about his past and present.

The Lion King Was the King of NFL?

Finally being able to fill his “dream role”, Aaron Nelson says that this occupation wasn’t exactly what he had in mind.  Nelson, from Chicago, IL, was somewhat of a sports hopeful, participating in contact sports such as martial arts and football.  His big dream was to someday be in the NFL, however, this dream was sideswiped by another childhood interest, the arts.  During Nelson’s teenage years, his mother helped him redirect his energy to opera and ballet.  Quite an interesting start from pigskins to singing with a lovable warthog in the Broadway musical, The Lion King.

Nelson became familiar with Disney at the age of nineteen, spending most of his working days in a suit.  He played Disneyland roles, disguised as Goofy, Tigger, Captain Hook, the Red Power Ranger, and the Queen of Hearts.  This would be the talented actor’s first brush with the fairytale land of Disney, and certainly not his last.

After his short-lived gig as several fairytale characters, Nelson would go on to explore the world of singing and songwriting. He pursed these arts under the stage name Apollo, whom he claims is his alter ego.  His career would later flourish, and he would soon find himself at the doorsteps of a Broadway show casting call for The Lion King.

Lion King

But it wasn’t that simple.  Nelson had to impress a casting director.  He also had big shoes to fill.  If he wowed the director, he would be the first actor since Jason Raize to win the role of Simba on The Lion King without having played the part outside of New York.  He was somewhat of a newbie, with odds stacked against him. The young and ambitious hopeful had known nothing about theater before the castings.  His journey began in 2008 where he attended his first audition for The Lion King. Nelson did not make the first audition in 2008, but kept returning each year after that, until finally, in August of 2013, he was cast as Simba.

Whether you’re a big fan of theater or not, both young and old alike can enjoy this Broadway reenactment of a timeless childhood favorite. With New York performances on a steady roll at 8 shows a week, there is no shortage of opportunity to catch this artistic display, as well as actors like Aaron Nelson, in the Broadway remake of The Lion King.

“The Lion King” has more reason to roar — it’s on pace to end the week as the first Broadway show to earn $1 billion.

According to The Broadway League, the show ended last week with a 16-year gross of $999,267,836, and it regularly pulls in between $1 million and $2 million a week over eight performances at the Minskoff Theatre.

The show, featuring the music of Elton John and Tim Rice, including the Academy Award-winning “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” brought the 1994 animated Disney movie to life onstage in 1997. Director and designer Julie Taymor created the memorable costumes, puppetry and scenic design.

“This humbling milestone is a testament to the vision and artistry of Julie Taymor,” producer Thomas Schumacher, president of Disney Theatrical Productions, said in a statement.

“For nearly 17 years she has been (the) guiding creative force and an inspiration to the show’s brilliant cast, musicians and crew. But above all, we thank our loving audiences who continue to be moved and delighted night after night at the Minskoff Theatre and all around the world.”

“The Lion King” has been a model of consistency in its march through records. In April 2012, it swiped the title of Broadway’s all-time highest-grossing show from “The Phantom of the Opera,” despite “Phantom” having almost a full 10 years’ head start. The Disney show opened in November 1997, while “Phantom” debuted in January 1988.

Overall, the show has made $5 billion across 21 global productions including shows in Japan, Australia, South Africa, Singapore and Brazil. This summer, Disney announced the show’s total touring box-office gross in North America alone had reached $1 billion.

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The Lion King musical has started its four-month run in Scotland’s capital.

An international cast of 52 performers from 18 different countries are taking part in the show at the Playhouse in the city.

More than 210,000 tickets have already been sold for the run but there are seats left, particularly for November.

A fleet of 23 trucks have been used to transport the set and costumes, making it the largest theatre production to tour Europe.

Jo Beale, General Manager of The Edinburgh Playhouse, said: “We are thrilled that Disney’s The Lion King has opened it’s only Scottish season at The Edinburgh Playhouse for a spectacular four month run. We look forward to welcoming several hundred thousand people to the Scottish premiere of this wonderful production, making it undoubtedly the greatest theatrical event the venue has ever seen.”

The Disney film was first adapted for the stage in Broadway in 1997.

The production is on at the Playhouse until January 18.

Source from STv news

The State Fair of Texas typically contains a wide variety of familiar and unusual animals, but the most unique ones come marching down the aisles of The Music Hall at Fair Park for Dallas Summer Musicals season closer The Lion King. Adapted from the 1994 Disney movie, the Broadway musical has won more than 70 global theatrical awards including the 1998 Tony Award for Best Musical. The show’s director, Julie Taymor, not only holds the distinction of being the first woman to win a Tony for Best Direction of a Musical, but she’s also the costume designer and mask/puppet co-designer.

It may seem interesting that a costume designer doubles as the director, but it’s almost a necessity for a production like this. Taymor and crew utilize a variety of costume and puppetry styles, and the result is one of the finest displays of theater magic around. The spectacle alone is worth a coveted ticket (as DSM quickly sells out a show like this), but rather than spoil the visual surprises, let’s focus on the other elements.

Like many film-to-stage musical adaptations, the story remains mostly unchanged and just adds a few details and extra musical numbers. Mufasa (L. Steven Taylor) and Sarabi (Tryphena Wade), king and queen of the Pridelands, welcome the birth of their son, Simba (Jordan A. Hall), who grows to be a feisty and curious lion cub. When young Simba finds himself in trouble with some hyenas in a forbidden area, the conniving intentions of his uncle Scar (Patrick R. Brown) are revealed. A terrible tragedy drives Simba away from his home, and he forms an unlikely friendship with the meerkat Timon (Nick Cordileone) and the warthog Pumbaa (Ben Lipitz). Some time later, an adult Simba (Dashaun Young) must decide between staying in his comfortable life and fulfilling his destiny as king.

For the most part, the stage production only improves on the music of the film (created by Elton John and Tim Rice) by adding in a multitude of African choruses and a few extra songs. These additions (by Lebo M., Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer) work remarkably well, with a couple of exceptions. “Chow Down”, a devious dinnertime ditty sung by the hyenas, is horridly out of place as it unsuccessfully attempts to combine rock guitar with African drum. Their other song, “The Madness of King Scar,” doesn’t fare much better.

The choreography goes beyond just simple dance sequences. Modern dance choreographer Garth Fagan infuses his signature Afro-Caribbean style not only in the individual dancing parts, but in the animal characters as well. While timing gets off a tad in the ensemble parts, the choreography is a refreshing change from the typical musical maneuvers.

Performances from the main cast are a peculiar mix. When it comes to line delivery, the transition from screen to stage isn’t as smooth as one might think. Film relies so much on facial expressions to convey meaning that when those same words are spoken from the stage, they are uttered differently to compensate. In this case, much of the dialogue comes across as cheesy and overdone.

At times, this is due to the younger cast members. While Hall provides the energy needed for young Simba, most of his lines and singing parts are forced. Zyasia Jadea Page as young Nala does a little better, but her performance still feels artificial.

Brown as Scar does well in his part, but it appears incomplete. His British demeanor handles Scar’s sarcasm brilliantly, but he only channels the whiny, narcissist side of the character. Nowhere in the production does he ever seem menacing.

Read More about this article at Theater Jones