Friday, July 29, 2005

The Lion King - My Review

We went to see the Lion King last evening. I should say that a group of us went to see the show, which was was.

There were a total of like 22 people in the entire group, 8 of us met early for dinner right next to the theater.

I think I enjoyed that more than the show. Even though I live in Chicago (about 8 miles from downtown) it’s very rare that I get to go downtown during the week or even go downtown for dinner.

Now granted, I do go downtown to go walking/shopping/photo hunting on a regular basis, but those trips are usually 2 hours or less so that I can get back home on a bus transfer, but I digress.

So we met for a nice dinner, had a cocktail, Cesar salad and Risotto with Sea Scallops (uhm those are the tiny ones) in a creamy tomato broth. Dinner was quite yummy, even though my total came to $40, but it was ok the tickets for the show were only $22 because we went as a group.

After dinner we proceeded right next door to the theater. Walked up three, no make that four flights of stairs until we got to our section, our group took up the last 3 rows of the middle section of the balcony.

Rightly so they were good seats, again we were dab smack in the middle of the theater, but there’s something about the cheap seats that are well…uhm….how do I say it “low rent.”

The lady in front of me had the biggest head of hair that I’ve ever seen, honestly, I would have taken a picture of it, but they were yelling at people for taking pictures inside the theater (I snapped off a few before they caught me.) And she did the most annoying thing, instead of sitting back in her seat like a normal person, she sat on the very front edge of her seat. Which meant that I could no longer see the front half of the stage through her big head. I just wanted to reach down, grab her shoulders and say “Hey Lady, sit back will ya.”

The show was, well it was, I think it was…well let’s just say, it was VERY Disney. Bright Colors, Loud Music, Lots of Jumping and Flouncing About as The Boyfriend would say.

I’d only seen the movie once, and that was enough for me. The Musical mirrors the movie in regards to the story line, but the music was just “ok.” I don’t have the soundtrack so the only songs I knew were the annoying “Hakuna Matata” and “Do you fee the love tonight.” I had no strong desire to purchase the soundtrack to get more of the music, the 2.5 hours in the theater were enough.

What was cool:

- The Costumes – very bright, very colorful, amazing how they interpreted the animals. Even though we were in the balcony they were inspiring, I could only imagine what it looks like from the floor when you’re looking straight on.

- The Sets – the sets were very interesting, everything from scrims in the flyspace to the “Pride Rock” that came onto the stage like a centipede and circled the stage to the back half of the stage moving up and down. The best special effects in the show were the Water Fall scene where Timon (or Pumba I don’t know, the skinny little thing not the Wart Hog) falls over the waterfall and almost ends up in an Aligator. The other one that I really loved was the Wildebeest stampede, it was amazing how they made it look so real.

- The Dancing was ok, I’m not a big dancer, but it was very tribal.

What was not so cool:
- The rude people who couldn’t keep their children shut up. Ok now before you yell at me and tell me it’s a kids show, I totally understand that. But, I also think that as a parent and you take your children to an event like this, you should discuss with them how they should act. You should try to lead by example and show your children how to behave in such a setting. You should TEACH them that it’s not ok to carry on a full blown conversation when there’s a performance going on. You should teach them then it’s NOT OK to talk on a cell phone in the middle of the performance. Granted it was a long show, and there was a lot of boring parts in the show so I can totally see how a child could be bored with it, heck I was bored in parts (although I didn’t close my eyes and fall asleep).

- How Sterile the Show Was. As I said earlier, I only saw the movie once, but the musical was almost an exact copy of the characters in the show, down to the voices. Scar sounded just like the Scar in the movie, Timon and Pumba sounded EXACTLY like the show, and Simba sounded just like the movie. It was so much that at times I thought that the show was recorded and they were just lip synching along. Now I’m not slamming the actors, they were amazing, but what I am slamming is Disney for making it “be just like the movie.” People know (and I guess love) the movie, so they figure if they’re going to see a show they just want to see a live version of the show. Me, on the other hand would rather see a show that has some interpretation of the live actor…isn’t that why we go to see a “live show” to see what the actor can do.

Would I go see it again: No.
Would I buy the soundtrack: No

I would rather go see Wicked again. I’ve been talking to some friends that have seen that and I’ve changed my opinion a little bit on how they changed the story, but it was a much better “attention grabber” than Lion King was.


Katya said...

sounds fab, although the people with bad kids get everywhere...and people with big hair shouldn't go to the theatre or movies without weighing their hair down first...


Katya said...

i love your piccies of the theatre btw, the interior is amazing...