Lion King roars into Rhode Island

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Disney’s “The Lion King” has roared back to the Providence Performing Arts Center for the third time and an unprecedented three-week run.

We came back, as did many others who filled the 3,000-plus seats to see this phenomenal show that swept most of the Tony Awards when it opened on Broadway in 1998.

Designer/director Julie Taymor has kept the show fresh and inspiring as ever, with a talented, energetic cast, costumes, masks and puppets that set the bar higher than ever and special effects that will mesmerize you.

Don’t be late, because you don’t want to miss the opening parade of animals marching down the theatre aisles and assembling on stage to the inspiring “Circle of Life.”

The puppeteers blend their bodies with the incredible animal creations, allowing the audience to believe they are watching giraffes, lions, and even an elephant move across the stage.

The story of the lion cub Simba, cast from his home, filled with guilt and grief over his father’s death, only to return as a young lion to dethrone his evil uncle and become the Lion King, is one that we all know and love.

This wonderful cast and crew have taken the tale and breathed life into it, adding music, dance and drama to entertain people of all ages. Comic relief is provided by a meerkat and a warthog, and even the scary hyenas have their funny moments.

And you’ll love to hate the evil Scar who gets what he deserves in dramatic fashion, thanks to some great special effects. Devin Graves and Jordan Williams play the young Simba and Dashaun Young picks him up in the second act.

“The Lion King” will be at PPAC through March 19. Call 421-ARTS for tickets.

The show engulfs the entire stage and theatre and the sound is very good, making seats in the second balcony a less expensive option, especially if you’re bringing the kids.

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