By Christine Thompson
From the very start of the show, Broadway In America’s Lion King was a visual and auditory feast at Houston’s Hobby Center Thursday June 29th. From the opening number by the incredible Buyi Zama’s beautiful vocals combined with the “click language” Xhosa (one of seven languages spoken throughout the play) to the closing song “Circle Of Life,” the audience was enraptured. The interactive show had fantastically dressed animal puppets cavorting through the aisles and in the balconies in Houston’s Hobby Center, with percussionists on both and left and right side of the theater. The result was a real-life surround-sound of exploding color and light.
The Stellar cast, including the regal Gerald Ramsey as Mufasa the lion king, the suitably rapacious Scar, played by Mark Campbell, deliver excellent dialogue and soliloquy as Zasu, played by Tim Hirschfield, performs his part of the long-suffering major domo. The entire cast was excellent.
The songs written by Elton John and Tim Rice rang through the theater, drawing appreciative “exclamation sounds” as the audience recognized the much-loved “Hakuna Matata” by Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa and Nick Cordileone as Timon.
If you thought the Disney movie was good, don’t miss the opportunity to see this Tony Award-winning play. It brings the story to a whole new level, and the immersive experience of seeing The Lion King in the theater with such fantastic actors is something you should put on your bucket list.
The Lion King plays at the Hobby Center through July 27th. Ticket information can be found at the Broadway in Houston site.