On September 23,  Chancellor J. Keith Motley and other members of the University of Massachusetts Boston community held a reception at the Boston Opera House before enjoying the highly-acclaimed theater performance of The Lion King.

The evening began at 6 p.m., with faculty, staff, alumni, and other supporters of UMass Boston gathering for a reception held at the opera house. The opera house was packed with musical theatre enthusiasts, as they eagerly awaited for the show to begin. Guests enjoyed drinks and appetizers as they came together to celebrate the university’s 50th anniversary. The reception was followed by a live performance of The Lion King at 7:30 p.m.

The Lion King first opened as a Broadway musical in late 1997. It is the stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning Disney film, The Lion King. The story of The Lion King follows the life of Simba, who is born the son of the king of the jungle. After his father’s tragic death, and an evil scheme organized by Simba’s uncle, Scar, Simba runs from the pride lands and leaves his life behind. He starts a new life with his new friends Timon and Pumbaa, until the pack from the pride lands try to convince Simba to return and take his place as king. The Lion King is a heartfelt story about love, family, and destiny, that audiences have adored for the last two decades.

The Lion King opened in Boston on September 9, as part of the series, "Broadway in Boston." The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical is known for its stunning visual images used to bring the animals to life. Its brilliant musical score includes Tim Rice and Elton John’s Academy Award-winning song “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” and the ever popular “Circle of Life.”

The production is directed by the award-winning director Julie Taymor. A cast of more than 40 actors works to translate this beloved Disney film to the stage. The stars of the show include Jelani Remy as Simba, Patrick R. Brown as Scar, L. Steven Taylor as Mufasa, Brown Lindiwe Mkhize as Rafiki, Nia Holloway as Nala, Andrew Gorell as Zazu, Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa, and Nick Cordileone as Timon.

The stage adaptation of The Lion King is full of vibrant costumes and colors, as well as incredible African rhythms that pull the audience into the scene of African wildlife. It is a story that touches audience’s hearts regardless of age, and is enjoyable for both children and adults.

The national tour of The Lion King opened in Boston on September 9 and will continue through October 12 at the Boston Opera House.

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