‘Lion King Jr.’ musical hits the stage at Laxson Auditorium


Young Simba singing “cant wait to be king” as he runs away from Zazu. Photo credit: Abigail Jones

The young talented actors of Blue Room Young Company brought magic to the stage as they played the beloved characters of the Disney classic “Lion King.”

During the play, the actors sang hit songs of the movie like “The Circle of Life,” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?,” “Hakuna Matata” and “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King.” What made this particular performance so special was how well the actors portrayed the characters on stage. Simba, Rafiki, Scar, Mufasa, Nala and many more came to life through the passion and ability of the performers.

Ranging from the ages of 8-15, the bright stars of the show captured the audience through their singing, dancing and raw emotion. Many of the children in the audience sang along, danced, clapped and laughed the night away. Although it was a performance targeted to the younger audience, many adults appreciated the nostalgic feeling of the musical.

“I loved it,” Samantha Shaner said, a local Chico resident and performance teacher at the Chico Boys and Girls Club. “Actually, a lot of the kids in the show were students of mine so it was a really proud moment.”

The stage production crew also did a fantastic job with the costumes, lights, set and props. Alongside the actors was a small band providing background instrumentals and vocals to all the songs. They did an impressive job and stood out during the performances. Overall, the show received positive comments from Lion King fans.

“It was amazing and it’s crazy because I’m usually not a huge fan of children’s theater, but it was beautiful,” Stephanie Ditty said, a body piercer. “I do some theater at the Blue Room so I wanted to check it out with a couple friends and see what it was all about.”

Ditty said that some of the scenes in the play made her emotional.

“I always cry when Mufasa dies during the movie and I actually cried this time around too,” she said. “All in all, I’d say the kids did a phenomenal job.”

Many parents brought their children to watch the show. There was a variety of different age groups in the audience, ranging from grandparents, students, faculty and young adults.

“It’s so nice that no matter how old you are, we can all come together and enjoy a heartwarming play such as the Lion King,” Brittney Williams said, a fourth-year Chico State student. “I’ve always enjoyed the film as a child and it’s so nice to see the younger generation experience and love it just as much as we did.”

The Chico performances is dedicated to showcasing talent and plans to bring more children targeted plays, musicals and recitals to Laxson Auditorium for everyone to enjoy. The “Lion King Jr.” was a success and there will definitely be more outstanding performances coming in the near future.

Niyat Teferi can be reached at [email protected] or @tayintee on Twitter.