When Disney’s The Lion King debuted on Broadway 16 years ago, it astounded everyone. A bare stage transformed into a graceful, contemporary rendering of the African savannah with surprising prop pieces, puppetry, costumes and makeup painstakingly engineered by and under award-winning director Julie Taymor. The youthful cast became a real pride for both Disney and a Broadway scene in desperate need of a fresh reboot.

The Lion King may have began as an animated film brimming with ‘toon schtick and songs popular with the playground set, but its story gave it weight to carry over to the live stage.

A displaced prince on a quest to avenge his father’s murder and to save his kingdom from the menacing uncle – it’s the kind of epic that has been told in many versions through the centuries (Danish prince à la Shakespeare, anyone?). Yet, as a musical set in the world of Africa’s majestic predator and prey animals, the story assumes mythical if not ancient proportions. For all its stage innovation, The Lion King is old-school theater and storytelling at its best complete with heroes (Simba), villains (Scar) and comic relief – an unlikely set of pals named Timon and Pumbaa, a meerkat and warthog, respectively. Plus, you can’t go wrong with music by Elton John, can you?

Families and the theater devout love it for these reasons and because you can’t beat it for fun, song and spectacle. Thanks to Celebrity Attractions, Tulsa will love it all over again.

The Lion King returns for an extended engagement at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center’s Chapman Music Hall, 101 E. Third St. The play runs June 4-July 7 and tickets are $25-$145 depending on day of the week. VIP ticket packages (which include a reserved ticket in the orchestra section, a souvenir program and a merchandise item) are available. To purchase, visit www.myticketoffice.com. Find more about Celebrity Attractions and its upcoming 2013-14 season at www.celebrityattractions.

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