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Lion King, Detroit Opera House: Theater

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On Saturday our family was lucky enough to go see The Lion King at the Detroit Opera House. In one word, the experience was MAGICAL. As all the animals moved through the aisles and assembled onstage for the opening number, “The Circle of Life,” my eyes watered up and my whole body was filled with amazement that such beauty can be created and put together so effortlessly. It was quite the visual and theatrical production. We were impressed by almost all the actresses and actors who had an extremely difficult job because they not only had to sing, dance and act but had to manipulate the large and clever costume they were wearing. The scenery and staging were also brilliant.

photo via jkstheatrescene.blogspot.com

We took our three older boys (10, 8, and 6) and they were all mesmerized the entire time. To really get your money worth, I would wait until my son or daughter was about 5. The story follows the movie really well with a few extra songs that were also very catchy. I had forgotten the beautiful message that the Lion King shares and I loved watching my boys “get it.” It provides a nice car discussion on the way home.

The Lion King - Show Photos - cast
photo via broadway.com 

If you have not had a chance to see it, GO! If your kids are too little, take your spouse and go! It runs through March 10 and there are a few tickets left; unfortunately they are pretty pricey. We sat in the first row of the highest balcony and still had a great view of the stage. The Opera House is smaller than many of the other venues we have been to which was nice for us because we could easily see everything, even up high and a bit to the side. It doesn’t really seem like there would be a bad place to sit.

Timon and Pumba
image via musicals.saviart.biz

Insider Info.

Get there early. The opening number starts right on time and you cannot get in once it has begun until the song is over. This may be the highlight of the show, so DON’T BE LATE.

Dress up. People were not overly fancy, but it is a nice opportunity to get dressed up. I fought my boys on this one, but I was glad I did (button down shirts or sweater and nice pants) since most of the audience looked like they were attending something special.

Aisle seats are good. The animals travel up the aisle quite a few times during the play, so if you get a change to sit on an aisle or close to one, take it! The closer your kids are to the aisle, the cooler it will be for them.

Hit the bathroom first. The bathrooms are small and the lines are long. If possible, try to go before or after the performance…especially if you are a girl ;).

Take everything in. It really is an incredible production. Take time to point out the scenery, the drummer off to the side and the orchestra. Watch for times when the animals fly!

Watch the movie before going. It is always fun to watch the movie right before you go. Then the kids can compare the movie to the musical and will be familiar with the songs.

Bring a few, quiet treats. We had our kids stick some candy in their pockets before we left so they wouldn’t bug us to buy over priced snacks. Don’t forget to remind them to unwrap them while people are clapping or during intermission. Suckers seemed to be a good idea as they last awhile and only have to be unwrapped once. Bring a small ziploc for garbage.

image via www.prweb.com

If you go. 

Directions. 

Parking. There are lots of parking lots close to the theater. They charged between $10 and $20. BRING CASH. The Opera House also has other parking options.

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