I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Lion King, so I absolutely agreed with my wife when she said we should try to see it after tickets became available at Peoria Civic Center. After all, according to LionKing.com, over 90 million people worldwide have experienced the world’s number one musical over the last twenty years — surely they can’t be wrong about its quality?
Our day finally arrived, so after church we hit the road headed for Peoria. Though forty-five minutes from our house, the drive to Peoria is always incredibly quick. We zipped along Interstate 74, crossed over the Illinois River, and we were there. I’m pleased to say that parking could not have been simpler. We pulled into the lot about thirty minutes early with many spaces still available. I can’t complain about the fee either — just seven dollars!
The walk to the Civic Center took maybe … three minutes. Once we entered the facility, we moved rapidly through a security check, and then we were in! With a ten and six-year-old child in tow, I felt elated by the ease of the entire adventure up to that point. I was almost giddy when we took our seats. I love it when venues are easy to negotiate, and Peoria Civic Center proved about as convenient as possible.
Because we were so early, we used the bathrooms before getting some drinks and cotton candy — you know, the basics. The theater itself impressed me, too. I found it visually appealing and entirely comfortable. We were in the twentieth row, about right in the middle, which afforded us a wonderful view of the stage. My wife did a fantastic job selecting our tickets!
As for the show itself … those 90 million other people weren’t wrong! I loved it, my wife loved it, and my children loved it. If you’ve seen the movie from 1994, you know the basic plot, dialogue, and songs — it doesn’t deviate much from the source material. However, the singing, the dancing, the costumes, the makeup, the puppets, the sets, the props — they’re amazing. Seriously. You might remember that my main complaint regarding Hamilton centered around the fact that, visually speaking, not much happened. That’s not the case with The Lion King. The senses are constantly stimulated between the nonstop music, movement, and changing scenery.
That scenery — wow! The sets were gorgeous and, most importantly, innovative. They displayed creative genius in portraying grassland plains, raging rivers, and ominous caves. I realize I sound a little excessive, but I sincerely haven’t seen anything quite like it. Wait a minute, I actually have seen something a little bit like it — Disney’s Festival Of the Lion King. (If you want to read about that equally astounding show, click HERE and scroll down a bit.)
I don’t want to sound utterly devoid of objectivity, so I do have a few criticisms. Namely, I didn’t think the acoustics were exceptional in the theater. I found myself struggling to understand the dialogue at times because the audio didn’t strike me as terribly crisp. This wasn’t a problem during the singing, but the speaking generally sounded a little garbled. This in no way diminished my enjoyment of the show. Even if I didn’t understand every word being said, the physical action, facial expressions, and my general knowledge of the movie more than informed me as to the happenings. I also noticed that the dancers weren’t quite synchronized with each other. A few were just a second ahead or behind the others. Do I care? No, not in the least. I can’t dance, know nothing about the art, and am regularly in awe of those with the talent. Nonetheless, I wanted to share my observations.
If you’re even mildly interested in The Lion King, I highly recommend you take a chance on it. I know you won’t be disappointed. Hurry, though. I believe October 13th is their last date. If you live in the Central Illinois area, you can see what’s available here: Disney Presents The Lion King (Touring) Tickets at Peoria Civic Center.
(Did you enjoy this article? Check out Scott William Foley’s short stories HERE!)