I went to see the
Lion King
last night, and I was blown away.

The movie was already one of my all-time favorite musicals, mixing the
musical wizardry of Sir Elton John with the powerful eloquence of Tim Rice. 
Adapting this masterpiece to a stage certainly seemed impossible, but this would
be underestimating the talent of Julie Taymor (costumes, and also author of some
of the new songs) and Garth Fagan (choreographer).

It was quite a surprise for me to discover that not only are the new songs
blending perfectly with the original score written by John/Rice, but that they
are beautiful in their own right and contribute in no small measure to the sense
of wonder that you are bound to feel while watching the show unfold.  The
mix of African beats and lyrics with the contemporary talent of these musicians
put The Lion King at the very top of my top all-time best Broadway musicals,
along with Rent.

Even if you are familiar with the movie and the original soundtrack, I
strongly recommend that you listen to the new soundtrack before watching the
show.  There is so much happening on stage at all time that you will miss
out greatly on a lot of background musicals if your ears haven’t been trained to
the new material.

The musical highlights in my eyes are "They live in you" (both the first time
and the magnificent reprise at the end), Stampede, the heart-wrenching "Shadowland",
but above all this, the poignant "Circle of Life", which open and close the show
and never fails to get my heart thumping.  There is also another extremely
emotional and bewildering technical achievement around the end of the show,
which I won’t disclose because it would lessen its impact.

If you are lucky enough to get a chance to see this slice of heaven, don’t
miss it.