‘The Lion King’ still ruler of the stage

Award-winning musical at Boston Opera House until March 21

Splash photo Joan Marcus / Disney
Phindile Mkhize (as Rafiki) performs "The Circle of Life," the opening number of "The Lion King."


Disney’s “The Lion King” is in Boston and now being performed at the Opera House. From its songs that children can sing along to, to its humor only adults can understand, “The Lion King” is a fit for all ages. With talented singers and moving songs, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to see this show.

All the costumes representing animals are made out of masks and puppets that the actors fit into, each colorfully painted, to clearly show the character. In the beginning, it is a little difficult to imagine the actors as animals, since their heads and faces are clearly visible the whole time. However, it is by the middle of the play, when you are so caught up in it, that you don’t see the faces of the actors, only the characters they are playing.

In the show, there are more than 200 puppets, including rod puppets, shadow puppets, and full-sized puppets, 25 kinds of animals, bird, fish, and insects. The largest puppet, which is the elephant, is 13 feet long, 11 feet high, and 9 feet wide (including its ears). All of the puppets that are main characters are made life-size, since there is a person inside. Sometimes it even takes two or three people to show one animal, due to the size of the animal.

The show has won many awards since 1998. Some of the awards include Best Musical, Best Choreography, Best Scenic Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design, Best Puppet Design and many more.

You could tell that the awards weren’t given out for nothing. The scene production is amazing. For each scene, there is a different background, and painted so carefully that you can tell where the scene takes place by only looking at the background. They are not only used for setting, but all sorts of things, such as creating a 3D effect or shadows that represent an animal.

There are also some electronics involved. Some of the props the performers use to climb on or sit on, like a spiral staircase, were battery powered in order to rotate and move by themselves.

For all the drum lovers, there was excellent drumming on African drums, placed in the balconies closest to the stage. The drumming created a unique ambience for each scene.

What is also great is that the moral is clearly visible through the end of the show. “The Lion King” is one of the most creative musicals of our time, and no matter how old or small you are, not seeing it would be a waste. Its creativity will inspire you to always think outside the box, and the many morals that were executed will make you want to follow them.

Don’t miss the chance to see the show that has won 71 awards over the past 12 years, and to be amazed at how one a simple stage can turn into so much more.

(“The Lion King,” Boston Opera House, Feb. 16 to March 21. For theater and ticket information, go to http://bostonoperahouseonline.com/.)

–Feb. 22, 2010–