lion king backstage
The cast of the “Lion King Jr.” runs through a number in rehearsal

Zian Mahfuz – Mustangs Ahead

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL)-  The LRHS theatre department debuted their 2018 spring musical, “The Lion King Jr.” on Feb 9.

The crew first stared to work on the musical on Jan 8. The month was spent making costumes and sets, learning songs and dances, and practice, practice, practice.

On the last day of rehearsals before the big show, cast members changed into their costume and put on their makeup. Tech members made sure they perfected sound and lighting, and prepared the auditorium for the audience.

Crewmembers were excited and scared at the same time for the big reveal of the show to the audience.

“Anticipating what’s going to happen and not knowing how it’s going to go is the scariest part,” said sophomore Lily Adamson.

Rachel Knowles did the cast’s makeup and designed costumes for the characters.

“The costumes are bit tight, but they are beautiful it gives an effect of the actual Lion King movie,” said sophomore Gabby Macogay.

Stage technician Chris Parrish handled scenic design and lighting.

LRHS drama director Roxanne Caravan chose the Lion King Jr. because she fell in love with the script, music, and concept. It’s a challenging theatrical piece that is great for high schoolers.

Caravan added that the musical relates very much to what is going on in society today on how people treat each other.

“It’s different from the Disney movie of The Lion King. The story line is deeper. The concept of the story being live provokes a higher level of emotions,” said Caravan.   She points out “Hakuna Matata” is not the positive song that others may think, it’s about walking away from reality and giving up on responsibilities.

The first act of the show features comic relief but as the narrative continues the tone turns darker.

Three quarters of the show’s music is not in English. The music includes languages such as Swahili and Zulu. The cast made sure they respected the cultures being represented.

Cast and crew members had to do their own research on the tribes and do journaling for their characters. The journaling helped the cast with character development. The journals were truthful about the characters they portrayed and themselves.

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