Janita and I went to watch the Lion King musical at Monte Casino last night and were blown away by an absolutely outstanding performance!
This international musical production is presented by a completely South African cast and has many local twists from nuances of the languages (including Afrikaans) to comments such as “it looks like a curtain from the Oriental Plaza”). The show is immensely entertaining and often incredibly funny. The show actually contains a few extra scenes that the original movie did not, but in general it sticks faithfully to the original and even the lines are mostly the same.
The above image of the opening scenes of the musical is taken from the City of Johannesburg website and is from an article written by Lucille Davie, entitled “The Lion King comes to Joburg“. The title of the source image is “Giraffe and lion met in Africa” but I must say that Janita and I thought the creature was a cheetah, not a lion. It was definitely my favorite creature of the night. The head was linked to the actress’ head with wires and when the actress moved so did the cheetah. It was really awesome to watch her “clean” herself (looked like a typical cat).
During the interval I glanced into the orchestra pit and was rather amazed. I am a flautist and have played in a few musicals and consequently been in a few orchestra pits in my life but I have never seen anything like the pit last night. The sheer amount of electronic gadgetry down there together with the classical orchestral instruments was quite staggering.
A second picture from the article shows Gazelles flying through the air. The way the animals formed part of the actors and actresses was incredible. Also in this picture is the monkey Rafiki who was played to perfection. To me, one of the most amazing scenes was the wildebeest stampede which was incredibly well done and very successfully conveyed the impression of millions of wildebeest stampeding towards the audience.
I would love to see it again (but unfortunately the tickets are a tad on the pricey side) so for now I’ll have the memories of a fantastic show and next time I won’t be so reluctant about going to see something like this.