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The Dime
The Boy and I saw The Lion King at the Orpheum last night. VERY different experience from local 'for the art' productions. Yet I also hesitate to just slap on the label of "broadway-for-cash play". Still, as amazing as it was, I can only imagine what some local artists around here would be able to produce with a blank check from Disney.

It was amazing, visually, artisitically and directorially. So much so that the fabulous costumes, puppets and mask work (brilliant and innovative) pretty much trumped everything else in the performance: the lighting, the acting, the singing, the dancing, the music, the plot. It really was about the visual spectacle. Hey, sometimes a show's just got to be about that.

I did have a major problem with the children in the audience, though. This is me being very selfish and uppity, most likely, but while it may be The Lion King, I still don't think it's appropriate to bring kids of all ages and sizes to it. They can't handle a 3 hour show in one seat. They want to speak about everything they see. They have to use the bathroom three times per show, meaning whole rows are up and down constantly. While I was frustrated with the kids, I suppose I should just be disappointed in the parents who thought "Hey, it's the Lion King. My kids would love that! Even if one is ADD and the other isn't potty-trained yet."

I know this last bit is pretty bitter for someone who claims to love kids, so I'm still sorting my brain out on it.

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Thats why most theatres have the no children under age 6 rule. I like kids too, but not when I am trying to see a show like that where you paid $60-70 for. If it were at Children's theatre it would be another thing all together.

I went with Janos and my parents last weekend - have to agree. I'd also seen it in London (btw, the production values were better here) and the box office there was actively refusing to sell tickets for kids under 10.

You can love kids and still dislike theater with undisciplined brats. My parents took my sister and I to the Children's Theater often when we were little but with the understanding that we used the bathroom before the show, we spoke in whispers and we sat still for the duration.

I agree with you about children in theatre, but would point out that it probably isn't their fault. Their parents should know better (and if you can't count on them to, then the theatre needs to have a rule about it) and should have done their homework about The Lion King. If they'd have looked into it, they would have seen that it is a piece of theatre aimed at an older audience. Children's theatre is great, and The Lion King would be a good place to advertise for a children's theatre production (people are thinking about the appeal to kids of the movie already), not to take children to see.

Julie Taymor is a genius. The costume/puppetry/masks (which really all meld into one) in The Lion King are only the most known of her works, and they are indeed show-stealing. When Steph and I saw it in London we agreed that it was marvelous production, but that the costumes stole the show. Not that we minded . . . the rest of the production was good too, but just couldn't compete with the newness and scale of the costuming.

I want to kidnap Julie Taymor and poke her brain a lot. The visual effects of that show blow my mind - even thinking about them now, & I saw it, what, 2 years ago? But I hated the songs. Especially the added songs. It's like the Disney Co. saw the phenomenal thing Taymor did with their show & said, "Egads! This is brilliant and effecting theater! Audiences will never remember it's Disney!" So they added a slew of songs even more obnoxious than the ones in the film, so have no chance of escaping the bubbling inanity that is The Mouse.

Just my 3 1/2 cents' worth.

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