Photos followed by our review, links, and additional information
Detroit Metro Mashup’s Michele had the privilege of attending the Broadway in Detroit production of THE LION KING at the Detroit Opera House Thursday evening, February 2nd, 2017:
THE LION KING is a musical based on the 1994 Disney animated film of the same name, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice. It has had 90+ million audience members worldwide, won 70 major theatre awards internationally and has 24 global productions around the world. It is the 3rd longest running Broadway show. This is no cartoon and is not just for kids. It is extremely dynamic, beautiful, and I thought the Detroit show was better than the videos I’ve seen of the Broadway production. The costumes, music, sets, singing, and music, are just beyond magical. Julie Taymor director, costume designer, mask/puppet co-designer, additional writer of additional lyrics won the 1998 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical and for Best Costumes for THE LION KING. I had wanted to go see this for years and it was worth the wait. When the New York Times said about THE LION KING, “There is simply nothing else like it,” they really summed it up. I do not want to put any spoilers here, for those who don’t know the story (probably not many of you), so just go see it at the Detroit Opera House. It is in town until February 26th, so get your tickets and go. It is a theater experience that I’ll never forget.
Additionally, there are tie-ins of the Detroit production with Black History Month and numerous charities and artistic organizations (see below). Hakuna matata!
New Non-Profit Initiative Unites Artists from The Lion King with Detroit Community
DETROIT, MI (February, 2017) – This February, as the touring production of the world-renowned Disney’s The Lion King performs at The Detroit Opera House (Feb.1-26), members of the cast and crew will unite to celebrate Black History Month with a series of outreach initiatives across Metro-Detroit. Led by cast member & Detroit native, John Sloan, III, these events mark a new chapter in a growing non-profit initiative. For the past five years Sloan has led The Helping Hands Campaign (HHC) as a nation-wide outreach program dedicating to uniting artists with the community through acts of service, fundraising, and volunteerism. Now, with fiscal sponsorship from the Allied Media Projects (AMP), this program is growing into a Detroit-based non-profit organization. Having organized events across the country with chapters of The United Way, Ronald McDonald House, USO, and NAACP, Sloan is bringing this unique collection of acclaimed artists to Detroit to celebrate Black History Month. Events include: Young Artists Workshop: a day-long workshop providing 50 Detroit high school students with instruction in Theatre, Voice, Dance, and Design Thinking. (in partnership with The Future Project and Patrick “Patcasso” Hunter) ProjectInspire: a series of middle school workshops teaching excellence in achievement through theatre improvisation and dance. Our Stories, Our Stage: a performance piece highlighting seminal moments in Black American Theatrical History; featuring selections from Porgy & Bess, Dreamgirls, Ragtime, & The Lion King. Hosted by the Fiat Chrysler African-American Network. Fostering Theatre: a partnership with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to provide foster children with the opportunity to experience a matinee performance of The Lion King and backstage tour. For more information, including how to donate, visit www.helpinghandscampaign.org The Helping Hands Campaign (HHC) The Helping Hands Campaign is a nation-wide outreach organization dedicated to uniting the artists with the community through acts of service, volunteerism and fundraising. Through collaboration with nationally renowned artists and artistic companies, we utilize a variety of media expressions to provide increased support and access to underrepresented communities across the country. (www.helpinghandscampaign.org) Fiat Chrysler African-American Network (FCAAN) Our mission is to ensure FCA US LLC achieves and sustains world-class performance in all aspects of our business by providing inspiration, education, exposure and development to our African American employees. The Future Project (TFP) America is supposed to be a place of possibility. But amid major challenges, we’ve become more pessimistic than ever before. Worst of all, millions of young people are growing up hopeless and disengaged, without the belief or the skills they need to lead in the 21st century. We work with schools to unlock the limitless potential of every young person in this country. In the process, transforming the culture of an entire school, leading to better attendance, increased student engagement, and an improved school environment continues to impact students’ lives after they leave school. (www.thefutureproject.org) Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services Approximately 13,000 Michigan children are in foster care at any given time. We need your help to keep these children safe and cared for until they can be returned to their family. In the event that they cannot be returned to their home, we need loving adoptive families to give them a place to call home.You could be the answer to their hope for a home. (www.michigan.gov/hopeforahome) Patcasso: Patrick Hunter, a Detroit native and computer science graduate, has taken a lifetime love of art and technology and has created blended art form that inspires students and professionals to be more creative and innovative. Hunter founded Patcasso Art in 2008 as a solution to engaging a younger generation to Ballet, Opera and Theater with a multidimensional art show that blends music, dance and poetry with performance painting. (www.patcasso.com) Project Inspire is a program founded by singer actor Russell Joel Brown. An Augusta, GA native and Morehouse College graduate, Russell is the founder of Project: Inspire. Professional credits: Smokey Joe’s Cafe (1st National, Japan), The Scarlet Pimpernel (1st National), THE LION KING (Broadway, Gazelle Tour, Mexico, Taiwan); Big River (Goodspeed; Best Actor- Connecticut Critics Circle).