Disney’s ‘The Lion King’ not to be missed

Photo by Ed Morita edmorita@me.comThe theatrical production of Disney’s “The Lion King” made a triumphant return to Hawaii on Thursday night.

After its Hawaii debut in 2007, “The Lion King” begins an eight-week run at Blaisdell Concert Hall.

Based on the hugely successful animated feature film of the same name, everyone pretty much knows the premise of the story, about a young lion cub and future king who flees his home after being tricked by his uncle into believing he caused the death of his father, the king.

Much of the dialogue and songs from the film are in the play, but may not be delivered in the way that you’re expecting, so your theater experience will be greatly improved if you don’t bring any preconceptions from the film.

Lion King Tour It was impossible for me to imagine anyone but Jeremy Iron’s voice in the roll of Uncle Scar, but that changed when I saw the amazing performance of Patrick Brown.

His mannerisms and chill-inducing stare brings Scar’s character to life in ways never thought possible.

The songs adapted from the film give the play a sense of familiarity, but what really stands out are the original songs created for the stage production.

s04-01-nia-holloway-ensembleSongs like “Shadowland” by Nia Holloway as Nala, and the second act opening ensemble number, “One by One,” combined with dance features “The Grassland Chant” and “The Lioness Hunt,” make this a show not be missed.

Tickets are still available. You can get $25 off select seats in select performances 1/15/14-2/23/14 by using Nonstop Honolulu’s special discount code.

Behind the Scenes

In addition to attending opening night, I was fortunate to have been able to spend some time with the production over the past week. Here are photos and video of the cast and crew receiving a Hawaiian blessing, a surprise lei greeting from Halau Ka Pa Hula O Ka Lei Lehua, and the opening night cast party at the Pacific Club.

A real treat was the impromptu performance of “One by One” by the cast to thank Kumu Hula Snowbird Bento and her halau for their lei greeting.

The Lion King Cast Blessing

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Photo by Ed Morita

Scenes from the show

'The Lion King'

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“Lionesses Dance” in "The Lion King" National Tour. ©Disney. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus.

Cast Blessing

“One by One”