“The Lion King” to bring pride to the Orpheum

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Emily Kline, Staff Writer

Combining the story of a Disney classic with breathtakingly unconventional sets, costumes, and dance, “The Lion King,” coming to Minneapolis’s Orpheum Theatre in January, presents an unforgettable theatrical experience for audiences of all ages.

The musical follows Simba (Jelani Remy), the next-in-line of an African lion pride, as his uncle Scar (J. Anthony Crane) murders king Mufasa (Dionne Randolph) to gain power, forcing Simba’s exile from the idyllic Pridelands and his eventual reclaiming of his father’s throne. Along the way, he falls for childhood playmate Nala (Syndee Winters) and befriends the comedic duo of Timon and Pumbaa (Nick Cordileone and Ben Lipitz.)

“The Lion King,” which premiered at the Orpheum Theatre in 1997, features all of the famous songs from the movie, such as “Circle of Life,” “Hakuna Matata,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” It also includes new songs, such as “Shadowland” and “The Madness of King Scar,” many of which incorporate African rhythms and lyrics.

Arguably one of the most unique aspects of the show, the costumes use masks, puppetry, and suits to create the image of an animal while keeping the human form visible. African patterns and fabrics are interwoven as well, evoking the tradition of the peoples of the Serengeti.

“The Lion King” puts a theatrical spin on one of Disney’s most iconic stories, giving audiences a magical and distinctive experience. The show will run from January 11 to February 12.