Broadway at TPAC presents:
The Lion King
Through Jan. 23
TPAC’s Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St., Nashville
615-782-4040 | tpac.org
Remaining Available Showtimes with Seats: Sun., Jan. 16 at 1 p.m. (balcony only); Thu., Jan. 20 at 7:30 p.m.(accessible only).
Tickets: Balcony $75; Accessible $90
Children under the age of 2 will not be admitted.
I love The Lion King. I love the original 1994 movie and I love the stage show. On Broadway, the show has run for more than 9,000 performances. It won six Tony Awards in 1998 and is the third-longest running Broadway show in history (behind The Phantom of the Opera and Chicago). It’s also the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time. You’ve got to hop on these things when they roll through Nashville!
It Will Meet Your Expectations
I was reminded how much I admire this theatrical event at yesterday’s matinee at TPAC — a performance added on after snow caused producers to cancel the Friday night opening. Years ago I saw the show on Broadway at the Minskoff Theatre, so my expectations were quite high. But with the ongoing constraints of COVID-19 still around us, it had been a very long time since I’d sat in a theater for a musical; I was just happy to be there and hoping to be swept away. Happily, I was.
The story follows the cub Simba (a spunky Jaylen Lyndon Hunter), the heir of his father, Mufasa (Gerald Ramsey, photographed above). Simba’s wicked uncle, Scar (a seething William John Austin), plots to steal Mufasa’s throne by luring the father and son into a stampede of wildebeests. But Simba escapes, and only Mufasa is killed. After running away in shame, the grown Simba (Darian Sanders) returns to take back his homeland from Scar.
From start to finish, The Lion King provides a memorable and moving theater experience mixed with primal African music, pop and a mythic children’s tale of self-discovery. Actor-puppeteers will blow you away (Nick Cordileone as Timon is astonishing) and outstanding performances will come at you from all directions. Yet the star of the show is the show itself. It’s loaded with imagination, creativity, impeccable choreography, gorgeous lighting, soaring music, scenic work and you can go on and on.
It’s an event, indeed, and you should try to catch it while it’s here. Hurry up and call the box office while you can. It’s running until January 23 … and then, well, Hakuna Matata.