HRH to Perform The Lion King, Jr
For the past fourteen years, the Holy Redeemer Drama Department has performed a variety of exciting, dramatic and hugely spectacular productions. And now, for their fifteenth production, they are taking things to a whole new level as they perform Disney’s The Lion King, Jr.
“I first saw The Lion King over a decade ago and I said there is no way a school will ever be able to perform this,” says Drama Teacher Peter Taylor. “But a little while ago, MTI (Music Theater International) released a junior version and we said, ‘okay, let’s do it!”
The production has the music and lyrics written by Elton John and Tim Rice, with additional music and lyrics by Lebo M, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, and Hans Zimmer. The book was written by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi, and is based on the Broadway production directed by Julie Taymor.
Over 55 students are set to be a part in the school’s second musical production. The story is based on the 1994 film and follows a young lion cub named Simba and his adventure leading him to become the king of the Pridelands. Of course, nothing is that simple as standing in his way is his evil uncle Scar who also wishes to be the king.
Many of the lead roles went to newcomers to the HRH Drama Program. Grade 7 student Levi Kennedy will take on the role of Young Simba, while Thomas Pennings will be making his HRH theatrical debut as the older Simba. Newcomer Carol Aulf will play Simba’s father, Mufasa, while HRH veteran Quinn Larder will play the evil Scar. Other roles went to Kaitlyn Krebs as Rafiki, Jaden Gauchier as Nala, Ava Simmons as Young Nala, Jayna Fedorak as Zazu, and Jake Francis and Rena Fahkreddine will play the hilarious Timon and Pumbaa.
“I’m so excited for this,” says Fakreddine, who only started acting last year. “Drama is so much fun and it’s such a great group of people to be with. And this role is going to be so much fun to play!”
All the students are tremendously excited, and you can really tell based on how much they enjoy singing all the songs in class and in the hallways. “Everyone is so thrilled to be a part of this play,’ says Ava Simmons. “We just keep singing all of our favourite songs from the show – we just can’t help it!
In addition to this amazing cast, Taylor promises some big surprises are in store for audiences. “We have a very different set planned and we can’t wait to showcase it,” he says. “In addition, these costumes are going to be bigger and more elaborate than ever before!”
The HRH Drama Department is currently looking for local businesses to help sponsor the show. Companies are encouraged to contact the school for more information.
Tickets to go on sale November 7th. There will be six public performances planned between December 6th to 9th, along with four special matinees for local schools.
And when tickets do go on sale to the public, they are expected to sell extremely fast.