The Lion King Pounces on the Benedum Center Stage

Brianna Caldwell ‘22, Staff Writer

Last month, the Broadway adaptation of Disney’s The Lion King came to Pittsburgh! The show ran from September 4  to September 29, bringing the language, dance, and art of Africa with it. 

Everyone has seen The Lion King at some point in their lives, whether it was the original 1994 animated one or the most recent live-action remake. (Rest-assured, the musical has received much more positive reviews than the remake.) Even though the tale is one that we all know, the Broadway adaptation brings a new side to Simba’s story. 

The additional music in the show is one feature that adds a different color to The Lion King. Through songs like “Grassland Chant” and “Lioness Hunt,” the audience is able to experience African sounds and languages as it relates to the scenery around them. With songs like “They Live in You,” “The Madness of Scar,” and “Endless Night,” new sides of the main characters are shown. Of course, we can’t forget about the original songs such as “The Circle of Life,” “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King,” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”. All of the music works together to showcase the fun, serious, cultural, and sometimes emotional sides of The Lion King.

Something else that the musical has been acclaimed for is its usage of puppetry and other props. Surely, this is something that everyone who has seen it can agree with. From the very first song, the stage comes alive with giraffes, zebras, birds, elephants, lions, and more animals of the safari. Even more, the ensemble goes one extra step and uses creative costumes to become plants and other wildlife. Puppets, people, and clothing work together to become seemingly real aspects of the African savanna. 

Being able to see the Broadway version of The Lion King was like being transported across the world. The show was a visual and musical masterpiece that brought the best of Africa through art and song as well as through a very talented cast.