I've seen a few Broadway in Chicago productions this year. Over the summer we saw Shrek: The Musical (disclosure: sponsored by my mother-in-law) and last week I saw Disney's Lion King (thanks for the BinC folks).
While Shrek was lively, colorful and had a few clever aspects, like way the pint-sized Lord Farquaad was portrayed, but my husband and two tween boys and I were itching to exit the theater as soon as the curtain went down...maybe a bit before. The play was so much like the movie, it was a bit of a snoozefest.
But Lion King, oh, Lion King. It's amazing! I saw it many years ago with DH when it last passed through Chicago. This time around, I was delighted to be with my 10 year-old son, who in turn was delighted by the costumes, the brilliant visuals and the music.
Julie Taymor's creative costumes make the play, but the acting, singing and music are top-rate, as well.
As with the Lion King movie, there are some scary bits made all the more intense due to the live setting, but none of the children in the audience (and there were a handful of them under age 8 at our evening performance) seemed too bothered by it.
Lion King is only scheduled to be in Chicago for a few more weeks, but if you're into the concept of a pre-holiday gift, take the family to see this. It was a great time.