The Lion King

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Release Date: 2009-12-23

Although the touring version of The Lion King isn’t exactly what you’d see in New York (where it’s the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history), it’s still a spectacle to behold. Director Julie Taymor’s award-winning musical (Tonys for Best Lighting, Costume, and Scenic Design to name a few) doesn’t follow the rules of traditional stage productions. While some stilt-walking actors are disguised as giraffes, others don mechanical headpieces designed to mimic feline lunges. The play follows young Simba from cub-hood pouncing lessons to adolescent irreverence, self-imposed exile, and the eventual reclamation of the throne usurped by his father’s assassin, the evil and manipulative Uncle Scar. Comic relief is abundant — packs of hungry hyenas jam to their theme song “Chow Down” in the Elephant Graveyard, and Timon the meercat hula-dances in drag — but at heart The Lion King is a tear-jerking family love story set to impeccably crafted music arranged by Tim Rice and Elton John. $29.25-$132.50, 2pm and 8pm Majestic Theatre, 224 E. Houston St., (210) 226-3333. Runs though January 3.

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