You guysssssssss! If you live in the Jacksonville area or are within a decent driving distance, GO SEE THE LION KING! It is incredible. Jimmy and I were invited to see it last Thursday, and there was no way we were missing that one. The Lion King has been on my musical bucket list for quite a few years now, and I about jumped out of my seat when I saw that it was coming to Jax. Jimmy saw it years ago when he lived in Chicago and always raved about it, so I was beyond ecstatic when I learned I’d get to see it for myself. And let me tell you – it did NOT disappoint.
Here’s what you need to be prepared for when you see the show:
- Don’t be late. If you arrive after the show starts they won’t let you in until after the opening number, and that is an act you absolutely do not want to miss.
- Speaking of the opening act, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen. The voices are chilling, animals walk down the aisles to the stage …. it’s unbelievable.
- Be prepared to get emotional. The good kind of emotional. I know it sounds strange, but the voices, the costumes and the sets are just THAT good. I found myself choking up a little and my eyes kind of watering (what?! blame the new-mom hormones), and found out later that Jimmy was experiencing the same. It’s a feel-good show, and the opening performance of “Circle of Life” really does evoke all kinds of happy and mind-blowing emotions. It’s worth seeing the show just for that one scene.
- There are no real animals in the show. All of the animals are played by people in gorgeous puppet-like costumes (watch the video below to see what I mean).
- It’s a 2.5 hour show, so be prepared. There is a brief intermission, but you’ll want to eat before, plan your potty breaks accordingly, and give your babysitter a heads-up!
- Bring the kids! The show says it’s suitable for children over six, so if your kids love the movie they will LOVE this show. It’s an event they will certainly never forget.
- You can take your beer and wine into the theater. Grab your drink at the bar before heading in and enjoy it during the show. A nice little perk.
- You’re going to want to sing along, and you won’t be able to help yourself!
- Be prepared to be in awe. The costumes and the sets are fascinating. Even the makeup and hair is spectacular! It’s so amazing that someone could come up with the idea of utilizing “puppet magic” (that’s what I call it) to bring animals to life like that. (In fact, the show’s director, costume designer and mask co-designer Julie Taymor was the first woman to win a Tony Award for Direction of a Musical. Pretty awesome.)
- You’re going to find yourself liking the bad guys. We all know the story and what happens, but when you witness the acting and the costumes of Scar and the hyenas, you’ll understand. It’s hard not to like them!
- The cast isn’t just made of actors or musicians, each cast member is an actor, a musician, a dance, and a puppeteer.
- Timon and Pumbaa are just like you’d want them to be, Zazu is hilarious, and Rafiki’s voice is phenomenal.
The words that come to mind when describing the show are exceptional, spectacular, incredible, amazing outstanding, phenomenal … what am I missing?
Wicked has been my favorite musical for the past ten years, but this one gives it a run for first place. Watch this quick video to understand why.
The Lion King runs through Sunday, Feb. 11 at the Times-Union Center, and are available at the FSCJ Artist Series Box Office, by phone at (904) 632-5000, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., or online HERE.
If you’re on the fence about spending the money or committing, just do it. You won’t regret it. (And it would make the best Valentine’s gift EVER!)
A massive thank you to the FSCJ Artist Series for having us. It was a much-needed date night, and so worth paying for a sitter!!!