Black on Broadway: Lion King Celebrates its 10,000th performance!


Black on Broadway: Lion King Celebrates its 10,000th performance!

As a new way to bring Black Leaders and creators into the Broadway space, Disney invited us (American Urban Radio Networks ) to a special showing of its most popular theater performances. On Sunday, May 7, Lion King on Broadway celebrated its 10,000th show at Minskoff Theater in New York City. Black is on Broadway and we’re here to stay!

Arriving at Minskoff Theater, guests were greeted warmly with a reception allowing Black creators and theater enthusiasts to network and reminisce about this nostalgic show. The Lion King dates back to its original animated film in 1994, to its 1997 Broadway debut rooting from our childhoods, brought to life on stage!

Julie Taymor, the show’s costume/ musical director, is the first woman to win a Tony Award for Best Musical Director in 1998. With a two-hour run time, this performance is split into two acts with numerous musical numbers that allowed the performers to parade through the crowd engaging with guests while making their way onto the stage.

The hilarious protagonist of the cast that drives the empathy from the audience plays the role of a main character and guardian to ‘Simba‘. Curating the interaction between the show members and the audience, we were captivated by Tshidi Manye‘s role as Rafiki, the “Role Model, God Mother, and Oracle” in the film as a baboon but this Broadway character has taken a more humanly approach with African garb and traditional phrases as the ‘elder’ of the story, the strong headed and powerful WOMAN portrays the back bone to the entire show. Rafiki passes on valuable knowledge that we can take into our daily lives. There is always a lesson!

The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can run from it or learn from it!

Rafiki, The Lion King

Songs that Topped the Charts!

The animated film Lion King’s 1994 classic hit ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonightwas composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice. And ‘Circle of Life’, released as a single, the song was a hit in the UK, peaking at number 14 on the UK singles chart and achieved success in the United States, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was a number-one hit in Canada and France. At the 67th Academy Awards in March 1995, it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The same year, the song also won John the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance.

A Coming of Age Role… meet the cast

The show’s characters interchange but these two, Ava Hailey and Kenneth E. Johnson Jr., take the stage as Young Nala and Simba‘ bringing vibrant costumes, high energy and lots of fun! The two younger cast members bring a fresh take to the 25 year old musical. Each number performed by Ava Hailey (Young Nala) gave you life through her exhilarating facial expressions and sassy attitude that added to the personality of the role’s original character. Young Simba’s role portrays the perfect coming of age moment as we caught a glimpse of what filling the shoes of the King Mufasa played by L. Steven Taylor, all entailed.

Meet Pearl Khwezi as ‘Nala’, as she dazzles the audience with her bravery, emotion and powerful voice. Besides being the best supporting character to the main role of ‘Simba’ in Act II, Pearl shares a solo song, ‘Shadowland’. Battling as Pride Rock’s next successor, Queen Nala prooved that she is a fighter willing to sacrifice herself to protect her family!
Meet Brandon A McCall, The show’s ‘Simba‘, with action-packed scenes and a few solos, McCall portrays the Adult Simba battling his own demons within his journey to the throne as the next King of Pride Rock!

The post Black on Broadway: Lion King Celebrates its 10,000th performance! appeared first on American Urban Radio Networks.

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Read the Black Chronicle Black History Edition for Free! Click Below



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