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"The Lion King" Roars in Chicago

By Alexandra Maragha
On November 9, 2010

The majesty of the award-winning Broadway musical, Disney's "The Lion King," displayed a moving and creative performance at Chicago's Cadillac Palace Theatre. The atmosphere of the Cadillac Theatre played an equally astounding host and partner as part of the Broadway in Chicago series.

The entrance to the theatre half an hour before curtain held a full house that included adults, children and those from all backgrounds, yearning to catch a glimpse of the beloved characters, Simba and Nala.

The pageantry of the opening song, "Circle of Life," brought excitement and wonderment to the costumes and presentation of characters. The imaginative costumes allowed the actors to embody and translate animalistic behaviors—not disguising but, instead, enhancing their forms—and helped combine animal and human traits to present each character's own personality. The talent of acting, singing and puppeteering performed by all members of the cast left no question of showmanship.

The familiar music and lyrics, composed by Elton John and Tim Rice, and the lovable characters created an enthusiastic atmosphere, along with new songs and a new artistic approach to tell the story. Although the orchestra was not seen, two percussionists displayed talents on a range of African drums, which added to the authenticity of the African dance choreography and even enhanced the musical's language elements.

While the performance was exceptional, the concessions in the lobby of the Cadillac Palace instilled a feeling of being in a movie theater as candy, pretzels and pre-packaged popcorn existed to accompany ticket prices. Despite the theatre's accommodations, the performance was exceptional, moving,and brought a whole new type of enthusiasm for the familiar Disney classic. "The Lion King" runs now through Nov 27 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre.  

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