Everything the light touches

July 26th, 2006

Last week we took the girls to see the Lion King musical that’s playing for a few weeks at the Hobby Center here in Houston. We bought the tickets nearly a year ago, and I had forgotten about the date, despite Wendy’s attempts to warn me it was coming up soon.

The show was simply spectacular. I thought the best part was the opening scene, where all the animals are out on stage together. The music was good, of course, and included most of the songs you expect to hear: Circle of Life, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, I Just Can’t Wait to be King, and Hakuna Matata. Wendy said that there were several new songs, but I don’t know the music as well as she does, so I’m taking her word for it.

The costumes were wonderful too, just as I expected. When the Lion King musical came out nearly ten years ago, Wendy and I watch the cast members on one of the morning TV shows dressed up in their costumes (and we had wanted to see the show from that very day). What I didn’t expect was how effective the sets and scenery were. They were simple yet amazing. I was most impressed with how much the show did with colored lights, shadow, and silhouette. The only thing even slightly high-tech was the fog machine used in the opening scene, and the fog jets used on one of the cave scenes. The sets and scenes were simply beatiful and set the mood wonderfully. I also liked the way that cast members were used in the scenery, dressed in grass or jungle-plant costumes. At times it was like looking at a scene from an Henri Rousseau painting.

My only complaints about the show can be explained away by the fact that they expect to appeal to a very young audience. I thought some of the musical numbers seemed to end prematurely. In particular, the final number just seemed to get going and then it was over. I was also disappointed that the big elephant that we saw in the opening scene didn’t reappear in the finale. But never mind these small criticisms, I thought Lion King was fantastic, fun, and not to be missed. If it weren’t so expensive, we’d probably be making reservations for its next Houston tour.

Now, where can I get tickets to Spamalot?

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