Sunday, August 24, 2008

Disney's The Lion King

We had an amazing opportunity to see Disney's The Lion King at the Kennedy Center yesterday. Grandma Ros works for the Kennedy Center and was able to get us tickets which was quite a feat as it was in town for a long period of time and every show sold out. So once again, we headed down to DC on the metro, this time with cousins Abby & Zach, Grandma Jane, Uncle Nick, Connor and me.

Now, I love performing arts, especially theatre and I had been wanting to see this show since it hit broadway 10 years ago. It certainly delievered, even after 10 years of anticipation. I think my favorite part of the entire performance was watching Connor as he experienced his first professional theatre performance...and there is no better way for a kid to develop a love of theatre than to see a show like this!

At the close of each scene, Connor was on the edge of his seat clapping furiously. We discussed some technical terms of theatre and the symbolism that is used through costumes and set changes. But he was completely engrossed and I was glad he knew the storyline and music from watching the Disney movie. Because there was so much going on visually, it would have been easy to miss important pieces of the story if you were unfamilar with the story before seeing the show.

Connor's favorite character (and mine, too) was Rafiki. However, we enjoyed Rafiki for much different reasons. Rafiki is the shaman-like babboon, complete with red rear end. That was Connor's favorite part. The costume for Rafiki had an oval-shaped woven laundry basket lid (no sure how else to describe it) with a large red circle on it. Rafiki often turned around and shook her bottom and it brough much laughter from the kids in the audience...well, I heard a few adults laughing, too. I enjoyed the character Rafiki played as she was a comical shaman, but had an amazing voice and sang in traditional African chants. She was so talented and I truly appreciate talent!

As we were leaving the Kennedy Center, we saw the children playing Young Simba and Young Nala coming out of the stage door and Connor was able to get autographs as a keepsake. This may have been a highlight for him! All in all, a wonderful first theatrical experience for Connor and one more thing to check off my to-do list. Thanks Ros, we had an amazing time!

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