The Equinox Theatre will come alive this May as Delta Youth Theatre (DYT) presents the Disney classic The Lion King Jr.
This 90-minute adaptation of the Broadway production, originally directed by the legendary Julie Taymor, is based on the beloved 1994 animated film. DYT’s cast has 65 young performers who hail from all over the Lower Mainland and are led by the locally lauded directing team Tony Barton and Tracy Neff.
“This story sure feels like coming home,” says Neff, who remembers her complete obsession with the animated film when it came out. “I can’t remember a day that summer when my Lion King CD wasn’t blasting Hakuna Matata or another song from the show that I'd completely memorized.”
Neff is not alone in her admiration for the Disney animated film. When it landed on Broadway as a musical in 1997, The Lion King swept six Tony Awards including Best Musical, and today, more than 60 million people around the world have come to discover the thrill of the show.
The Lion King Jr. tells the story of the epic adventures of a curious lion cub named Simba as he struggles to accept the responsibilities of adulthood and his destiny as king. Along the way, he encounters a colorful cast of characters including the spunky lioness Nala, a charismatic meerkat Timon, and a loveable warthog Pumbaa. To claim his rightful place on the throne and save his beloved Pridelands, Simba must find his inner strength and confront his wicked Uncle Scar.
The Lion King Jr. features classic songs from the 1994 film such as Hakuna Matata and the Academy Award-winning Can You Feel the Love Tonight and additional songs penned for the Broadway production.
“Creating the production elements of this show is a wonder,” added Barton, who brings the wow factor to DYT productions with the many hats he wears, including direction, music direction, set construction, sound and lighting design and occasional onstage appearances.
DYT is always proud to have creative and skilled costume coordinator Lora Keady tackling the costuming challenge.
“Lora is a force of nature,” says Barton. “She not only has to create a show of costumes that look amazing for one cast, but often one costume has to look just as amazing on three other actors because of our multiple casts.”
The production team is excited to share this show with Delta audiences and to hear them singing along in their seats.
The show runs from May 6 to 15.
Tickets are $28 to $35, available by calling 604-417-7748.