What's it about?
The journey of a young prince cub becoming a lion, with the guidance of his father and those who surround him. A reminder that there is a circle of life and without spiritual, physical and emotional support we are unable to live to our full potential.
What'd I experience?
I remember as a child seeing The Lion King on TV and having a desperate wish to see it on Broadway. And here I was, sitting in the Minskoff theatre thinking to myself "Wow, that childhood wish came through!" I was happy, as I sat amongst the many other theatergoers - some expressed having seen it before. This was my first time, and I felt so child-like, so relaxed, with my mind at ease.
As I watched, I paid keen attention to the character of Simba. I found that we shared a lot of similarities. Like him, as I grew up I had to find my own way. My parents hadn't yet immigrated, so I had to live with other relatives. And as a child growing up, I felt like I needed my parents to be there, physically. Just like Simba after his father's death.
The play touched areas of my life so unexpected.
I wondered on how different my life would have turned out if my mom or dad were with me during my teenage years. Not in an regretful manner, but more in a "who would I be?"
Taking the journey with Simba, I was also on an emotional roller coaster.
I found Simba's journey to be a reflection of my past, add that to that child-like feeling I was having. But something about Simba helped me to accept my past and forgive myself.
One of the most interesting things about Simba and myself - we both attach ourselves to the same type of people when we are in trouble or trying to escape. For him it was Pumbaa and Timon, with their problem free philosophy "Hakuna Matata - which means no worries for rest of your days." They remained me of my crazy friends: caring, nurturing, fun and worry-free.
Once Nala and Simba reunited, I was able to see the young cub approach his years of kingship. Once again I saw myself in Simba. I too had found new characteristics within myself, once I was reunited with my mother. That bond of love that was lacking, all of a sudden was filled. What was more intriguing was Simba's experience with Rafiki. His encounter reminded me of how I became Christian, and the values I adapted as a result. The song "He Lives in You" resonates with me as a sense of empowerment and freedom. I am never alone therefore I can face my "Scar" and overcome whatever situation I am in.
At the end of the play, my child-like feelings lingered as the lights went down on the stage. It was back to the reality, that the circle of life - which I think is not as connected as it should be. I did learn that in order for it to work I have to play my individual role, not run away from who I am.
In life there are mountains, obstacles that feel insurmountable, but there is a system of support so I am never left alone. I even look at my little cousin, who was recently introduced to the movie on TV and at two was singing, "I just can't wait to be King!" Out of all the songs that's the one he identifies with and it amazes me to see at his age, the innocence and the beauty behind him wanting to roar. At a young age, you can imagine yourself being just about anything. And at that age it's ok, but somewhere along the years of growing it suddenly became impossible. I was reminded that if I remember who I am, then nothing is impossible.