If you can only afford one broadway play, just one, I would have to say SEE THE LION KING!!! Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to see this play with my family. You see, I grew up being a Disney kid. I have watched all the animated Disney movies and had the entire collection on VHS.
Yes, VHS, now you get how old I am as well as how spoiled I was!
Out of all of the Disney movies that I have seen and owned, my favorite one was the Lion King. I can not tell you how many times I have watched this movie since childhood. I saw it when it came out in the movies and watched it repetitively at home. I watched it so many times that I knew almost all of the lines in the movie as well as all of the songs.
Yes, I was obsessed!
So of course, when they had created a play for it, I wanted to see it badly! The only problem was back then, my parents couldn’t afford such a thing and as I got older, I couldn’t afford it either.
By the way, I have seen other plays. Off broadway plays such as Annie and the King and I through school and summer camp trips and once I lucked out when someone bought me a ticket to see Les Miserables when I was in my late teens. Those plays were amazing, especially Les Miserables! That play was highly emotional and such beautiful music. It was an amazing experience for a young 17-year-old to view.
Now, fast forward 17 years and I finally get to see the play that I have been dying to see since being a kid and with my husband and son beside me. We had great seats at the mezzanine level and got to see a performer stand next to us, in their beautiful costumes, singing in a language that comes from a part of my heritage! How cool is that!
All I can say is that this play was astonishing!
I felt so many emotions watching this play. Childhood flashes of me enjoying the film that birthed it as well as pride to see a culture that is a part of me on stage. The costumes, masks and scenes were breath-taking. Such vibrant and warm colors. The music was wonderous and hearing those drums made my heart pound with them. Also, the message that rests within the play, which is the same as the movie: maintaining the balance of life as well as celebrating it.
Since I have done my DNA with ancestry and finding out where my African ancestors came from, seeing this play and hearing the languages in it connected me with it even more than just the fact that it is from a piece of my childhood. Take a look at my genetic makeup and you can understand why I feel this way.
Then when I found out that the South African composer Lebohang “Lebo M.” Morake arranged and performed the music, and six indigenous African languages are spoken throughout the musical: Swahili, Zulu, Sotho, Tswana, Congolese and Xhosa, also called the “click language,” it intrigued me even more.
Of course, if you haven’t seen this play and you have seen the movie, do not expect it to be exactly like the movie. They had made some changes to it as well as added additional songs. I still enjoyed it immensely!
Do yourself a favor, if you haven’t seen this timeless classic, see it! Save up for it and buy it at least 3 months in advance in order to save some money on this investment. Yes, I think doing things like this is an investment not an expense because you are exposing yourself to culture, music and the arts. Especially more so for little ones. It is worth every penny and I honestly would love to see it again.