I’m not what one would call “a theatre person”.
That being said, I have a class that requires that I see “two live performances” during the semester.
For the first, I saw The Lion King.
I can definitely say, the technical elements were impressive. The art and design were very well done. The acting and singing were incredibly done as well.
Me being me, I spent a lot of the show looking at the mechanical concepts on display. The way that things were assembled. How does it all work? How does the rigging connect to this or that?
In a way, I found myself more enamored by the mechanical artistry of it than by the actual play…which feels weird to say. I don’t want that to come off as me saying that anything about the production was flawed or unenjoyable because that was certainly not the case.
I suppose that for me anyway, it was like looking at a beautiful, antique grandfather clock, and sitting there thinking about how amazing all the internal gears are that are making it work.
It also translates strangely to others when they ask, “So, what did you think? Did you like it?”
I find this question difficult to answer.
I didn’t dislike it.
I thought it was well done. I thought it was well crafted. I thought it was well acted, well designed, welly, welly, well well…
Did I like it?
Hidden behind the metrics of such simple questions are the numbers that I, as a crazy person, consistently quantify as assess with the same alacrity by which I breathe. It makes questions like that break my ability to disseminate a question the way so many others seem to, and, as such, I tend to find myself struggling to answer.
So, instead, I’ll put two different questions that, to me, make a lot more sense, and are more technically specific.
1.) Would I recommend it to others?
I would. Unless you absolutely know that you hate live theatre. There is a great deal to marvel at, regardless of if you’re there for the singing, the dancing, the acting, the set design, the choreography, or just the brilliance of how they put it all together with all the delicate balance of a skilled watchmaker.
2.) Would I pay to see it again?
I would not. But this is also a tricky issue because I rarely do things twice when they require inordinate investments of time. I don’t read books more than once, I have only ever replayed (start to finish) three video games that I can think of, and I’ve been playing video games since I was eight.
So, if the drive there and back hadn’t been longer than the actual performance, then I think I might. Odd as that may sound, that’s about the closest you can get in the way of a glowing endorsement from me.
I wish I could have gotten pictures to put here with this post, but “taking pictures or film during the performance was strictly prohibited” so all I got was me holding the program in front of the main curtain before it started.
And seriously…the way they did the lion faces for Mufasa and Skar was wild. I probably missed a third of their dialogue just watching how those things worked.