Just Plain Lion

It takes an artist to transform puppetry into one of the largest-grossing Broadway musicals to date, or at least a stubborn nonconformist. When Disney chose to put avant-garde director Julie Taymor at the helm of its theatrical production of The Lion King, many had their doubts. Mainstreamers questioned Taymor's ability to create a show that would be accessible to Disney's audience, and fans were afraid that this was the paycheck that would end Taymor's originality. Nine sold-out years and six Tony Awards, however, would seem to have quieted any naysayers.

The Lion King now enjoys world acclaim for its use of Japanese Bunraku puppetry, a style that incorporates puppets and puppeteers into the performance for an experience that welcomes audiences to push the boundaries of their imagination. Although based on the original Disney animated picture, Broadway's Lion King is more than just another Disney scheme to cash in on its well-received ideas (see: the Lion King sequels). This production incorporates the culture of Africa, the versatility of theater and a lot of spandex. Take the safari at 8 p.m.
July 6-Aug. 13


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