Here’s something that you might not know about me: I’m a bit of a musical geek. I’m not as big of a musical geek as some people that I know, but I listen to musical soundtracks quite often—and belt out the lyrics along with them when I’m alone. I really enjoy seeing them on stage and back in the day I may or may not have been a RENT-head.
(Who am I kidding? I totally was. After I saw it live the soundtrack was all I listened to. When the movie came out and I had a chance to see most of the original cast in their roles I dragged my friends to the movie and made them sit in an ice cold theater that had no heat during winter because I wasn’t going to miss my chance to see it that night due to something as crazy as no heat in the theater. And I’ve seen it live a couple of times.)
Anyway, this post isn’t about RENT. This is about a musical that I have wanted to see live since it first came out: The Lion King. I, like a lot of people, love the movie and we’ve all heard how amazing the costumes and music are, so it’s been one of the musicals that I knew I had to see. I pass by the Orpheum in downtown Minneapolis regularly, so when I saw The Lion King listed as the last musical of the season, I knew I had to go see it. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably seen how fascinated I have been with the building recently, and part of that is because I have been watching the marquee change with each show and have been counting down to The Lion King.
As it worked out, I got to see it with my niece, and it was the best thing ever. I was about her age when I went to see my first musical on stage. My sister—her mom—took me to see Beauty and the Beast and I believe it was at the Orpheum too. I still remember how excited I was to go see that musical—and how much I still love listening to the soundtrack. So I was looking forward to seeing what my niece thought of The Lion King, especially since she is quite the musician.
And I think being with her made the show that much better. I loved watching her take in the old building and snap a few photos with her iPod. I loved watching her look down into the pit when they started to practice. (We were in the second row… I’m still not quite sure how we got such amazing seats, especially for the price that we paid.) And I loved the look on her face when the animals started to come on stage at the beginning… and the reaction that she had as we approached the most heartbreaking scene to ever take place in a movie—or in this case, on stage. (You all know which scene I’m talking about, right?)
She said that her favorite things about the musical were the costumes and the music. I loved both of those things as well and was incredibly fascinated by how the musical was choreographed. It was so cool to see how they transitioned from one scene to the next, how the costumes were used, the fascinating ways they used the lighting to help tell the story. I wondered how some scenes would translate from movie to stage and those particular scenes were absolutely breathtaking.
As we were walking out, two people behind us were talking about the musical and one said, “It was just as good seeing it the second time. There’s so much that you miss the first time!”
I’m sure that is true!
They released the schedule for the next season and there are a couple shows that I’m planning to go see: Mamma Mia! in its farewell tour and Wicked, which I missed when it was here a few years ago. I’m still kicking myself about that. Oh! And my beloved RENT will be in town again. Hmm… 🙂