THE PRIDE ON BROADWAY

October 10, 2019 at 5:00 am

Disney’s live-action remake of the Lion King broke a number of box office records. Tonight, we meet the pride on Broadway, which has been receiving roaring ovations for over 20 years.

Aired on October 9, 2019. 

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>>> SINCE ITS PREMIERE IN
NOVEMBER OF 1997, "THE LION
KING" CONTINUES ITS REIGN AS ONE
OF THE MOST POPULAR STAGE
MUSICALS IN THE WORLD HAVING
BEEN SIGN BY MORE THAN 95
MILLION PEOPLE, WINNING AMONG
MANY OTHERS SIX 1998 TONY AWARDS
INCLUDING BEST MUSICAL.
HERE'S A LOOK.
§
WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE JOINING
US NOW LINDSEY WAY WHO HAS BEEN
WITH "THE LION KING" FOR ITS
ENTIRE TWO-DECADE RING.
AND L. STEVEN TAILOR WHO PLAYS
THE LION KING.
THERE'S SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT.
LET ME START WITH YOU.
WHEN YOU FIRST BECAME INVOLVED
WITH THIS INTERESTING PROJECT,
"THE LION KING," DID YOU HAVE
ANY INCLINATION AT ALL TO HOW
ENORMOUSLY SUCCESSFUL IT WAS
GOING TO BE?
>> NO.
IN THE BEGINNING, NO.
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU STARTED THE
FEST, TRYING ON DIFFERENT
COSTUMES, TRYING TO FIGURE OUT
WHAT IS IT GOING TO BE, YOU
KNOW.
YOU'RE PUTTING ALL THESE HYENA
COSTUMES, YOU'RE LEARNING HOW TO
WALK, YOU KNOW, HOW TO MOVE WITH
PUPPETS.
SO IT WAS REALLY HECTIC IN THE
BEGINNING.
SO I DIDN'T KNOW HOW IT WAS
GOING TO BE.
AND THEN WE WENT TO MINNEAPOLIS,
WHEN WE GOT TO MINNEAPOLIS, THEY
WERE DOING ALL THESE THINGS.
AND THEN PREVIEW STARTED.
AND THE FIRST DAY, THE OPENING
OF THE PREVIEWS, YOU COULD FEEL
IN THE AUDIENCE LIKE AS SOON AS
WE STARTED COMING DOWN THE
AISLE, THE AUDIENCE -- IT WAS
LIKE AN OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCE.
SOMETIMES THEY WANT TO TOUCH
YOU.
SOMETIMES THEY ARE CRYING.
>> I REMEMBER SEEING IT WITH MY
CHILDREN.
AT THE TIME I THINK THEY WERE
ABOUT 14 AND 10.
>> YEAH.
>> AND SITTING ON THE AISLE.
AND I WAS FASCINATED BY THE FACT
THAT NOT ONLY WERE THE YOUNG
CHILDREN REACHING OUT FOR YOU,
THE ADULTS --
>> THE ADULTS, YEAH.
>> REACHING OUT.
>> SOMETIMES YOU SEE LIKE PEOPLE
IN TEARS.
LIKE GROWN PEOPLE, LIKE
OVERWHELMED AND JUST CRYING AND
LAUGHING.
YOU KNOW, ALL -- EVERYTHING, THE
EMOTIONS THAT ARE, YOU KNOW,
WITHIN THEM.
>> STEVEN, FOR YOU, WE TALK
ABOUT AN ICONIC PRODUCTION, AND
YOU COME IN AND TAKE OVER AN
ICONIC ROLE.
>> YEAH.
>> THE LION KING.
>> YEAH.
>> AS AN ACTOR, AS A PERFORMER,
IS THAT -- I GUESS A BETTER
QUESTION IS HOW DAUNTING WAS
THAT FOR YOU?
>> MAN, IT'S VERY DAUNTING.
WHEN I CAME INTO THE SHOW, I WAS
-- YOU KNOW, I WAS PRETTY YOUNG,
SO I ALWAYS KIND OF FELT LIKE --
I WAS AN UNDERSTUDY IN THE ROLL
TIME.
I ALWAYS FELT LIKE A KID PLAYING
IN DADDY'S SHOES, YOU KNOW,
PUTTING ON DADDY'S CLOTHES.
IT WASN'T UNTIL I STOPPED TRYING
TO EMULATE WHAT JAMES EARL JONES
DID AND WHAT SAM WRIGHT DID WITH
THE PART AND KIND OF RELATE THE
ROLE BACK TO MY OWN LIFE, YOU
KNOW --
>> MAKE IT STEVEN'S --
>> YOU KNOW, LIKE WHO IS HE?
HE'S -- AT THE VERY HEART HE'S A
FATHER.
AND SO -- SO AM I.
WHEN I MADE THAT KIND OF A
CENTRAL FOCUS OF HOW I WAS GOING
TO PORTRAY THE CHARACTER, THEN
IT BECAME LESS DAUNTING.
BUT I MEAN, STILL, YOU KNOW,
LIKE IN THE BACK OF MY MIND, I
KNOW THAT PEOPLE ARE COMING WITH
A CERTAIN EXPECTATION OF THIS
PARTICULAR ROLE.
AND I TRIED TO LIVE UP TO THAT.
>> IT'S SUCH A MARVELOUSLY
PHYSICAL PERFORMANCE.
YOU TALK ABOUT COMING DOWN THE
AISLE.
AND I WANT TO ASK YOU -- THE
HEADGEAR THAT YOU'RE WEARING,
YOU'VE GOT TO DANCE AND SPRING
AND DO ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU
DO.
DID THAT TAKE SOME GETTING USED
TO?
>> YEAH.
I MEAN IT DID.
BUT IT'S -- LIKE YOU LEARN TO --
OKAY, NUMBER ONE, IT'S NOT AS
HEAVY AS IT LOOKS.
IT'S MADE TO LOOK LIKE A BIG
PIECE OF OAK, YOU KNOW.
>> RIGHT.
>> LIKE AS MUFASA IS.
HE'S THIS --
>> THAT'S RIGHT --
>> YES.
WHAT JULIE TAYMAR DID WITH THE
PUPPETS AND MASK, SHE WAS ABLE
TO BRING TO WESTERN CULTURE WHAT
MOST COUNTRIES AND MOST OTHER
CULTURES ALREADY DO, THEY USE
MASKS AND PUPPETS IN THEIR
STORETELLING ALREADY.
SO SHE WAS ABLE TO TEACH US HOW
TO USE THESE PUPPETS AND THESE
MASKS TO TELL THE STORY.
>> AND YOU'RE FROM SOUTH AFRICA.
>> UH-HUH.
>> I'VE SEEN WHERE YOU HAD
TALKED ABOUT -- YOU KNOW, SOME
OF THE STYLING, THE MUSICAL
STYLING.
IT'S SOMETHING THAT YOU WERE
FAMILIAR WITH JUST AS A CHILD.
>> YES.
YEAH.
>> IN WHAT WAY?
>> WE GREW UP SINGING IN
CHURCHES.
WE GREW UP SINGING IN SCHOOLS.
BUT WE DIDN'T GROW UP SINGING IN
THEATERS, YOU KNOW.
SO ALREADY, EVEN WHEN DURING THE
STRUGGLE WE USED TO JUST SING,
YOU KNOW.
OUTSIDE OF -- IT'S KNOWN FOR OUR
VOCALS, YOU KNOW.
>> WHEN YOU LOOK AT SOME OF THE
APARTHEID STRUGGLES, YOU SEE THE
SINGING --
>> IT'S ALWAYS SINGING --
>> SIMILAR TO LOOK AT THE CIVIL
RIGHTS MOVEMENT IN THE UNITED
STATES AND HOW MUSIC WAS SUCH A
SIGNIFICANT PART --
>> YES.
SO "LION KING," I REMEMBER WHEN
THEY FIRST SAID YOU GOT IT,
YOU'RE GOING TO PERFORM.
I WAS SO EXCITED BECAUSE I KNOW
I'M GOING TO SING SOUTH AFRICAN
MUSIC, IT'S PART OF ME.
WHEN YOU SEE "THE LION KING,"
YOU HAVE MAYBE SIX OR EIGHT
SOUTH AFRICANS NOW IN THE SHOW.
SO I HAD THAT, I HAVE THESE
PEOPLE I CAN SHARE WITH, THEY
ARE FROM SOUTH AFRICA.
AND THEN WE'RE SINGING THE SAME
STYLE OF MUSIC WHICH IS
EXCITING.
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU START
INCLUDING PEOPLE FROM HERE,
AMERICANS, WHEN THEY START
LEARNING AND THEY ASK QUESTIONS
ABOUT OUR CULTURE AND OUR MUSIC,
HOW EVERYTHING SOUNDS, HOW TO
PRONOUNCE WORDS SO IT MAKES IT
EXCITING.
>> IT CREATES AN AWARENESS OF
OTHERS.
>> OF OTHERS, YES.
>> LAST QUESTION FOR BOTH OF
YOU.
YOU KNOW, EVEN THE MOST
SUCCESSFUL BROADWAY SHOWS
USUALLY HAVE A SHELF LIFE, IF
YOU WILL -- I DON'T MEAN THAT TO
BE DEMEANING AT ALL.
BUT THEY LAST FOR A PERIOD AND
THEN IT'S LIKE THIS WAS GREAT,
LET'S MOVE ON.
THIS DOESN'T SEEM THAT -- AS IF
ANYBODY'S READY FOR IT TO MOVE
ON.
IT SEEMS --
>> NO.
>> TRULY TIMELESS IN AN AGE
WHERE WE HAVE SUCH A SHORT
ATTENTION SPAN FOR ANYTHING.
>> YEAH.
>> LET ME ASK YOU EACH, WHY DO
YOU THINK, WHAT IS IT ABOUT IT
THAT ALLOWS IT TO BE SO
TIMELESS?
>> I THINK BECAUSE THE STORY OF
THE LION KING, THE SHOW IT
RELATES TO EVERYBODY, YOU KNOW.
YOU HAVE THE CELEBRATION OF
LIFE.
YOU HAVE, YOU KNOW, DEATH --
PEOPLE WHEN THEY'RE GOING
THROUGH SOMETHING, WHEN THEY
COME TO THE SHOW, SOMETIMES EVEN
WHEN YOU LEAVE THE AUDIENCE, YOU
HEAR THEM TALK ABOUT, YOU KNOW,
HOW IT HAS HELPED THEM.
>> YEAH.
TO ADD ON TO THAT, I WOULD SAY I
MEAN THE COOL THING IS THAT WE
HAVE PEOPLE COME BACK AND SEE
THE SHOW MULTIPLE TIMES.
BECAUSE AT ANY GIVEN POINT IN
YOUR LIFE, LIKE WHEN YOU SEE THE
SHOW AS A CHILD, YOU KNOW, AS A
7-YEAR-OLD CHILD, YOU SEE, YOU
KNOW, YOU PROBABLY RELATE MORE
TO THE CHILDREN IN THE SHOW.
AS YOU'VE HAD MORE EXPERIENCE,
THEN MAYBE YOU COME BACK AND YOU
SEE YOURSELF IN SIMBA OR NALA.
BUT I THINK THE MAIN THING IS
L
""
LION KING" HAS NEVER SOSTOPPED
GROWING.
>> NOT JUST FOR AUDIENCE.
FOR US, TOO, IT HELPS US.
>> MY CHILDREN, 14 AND 10,
THEY'RE NOW 36 AND 32.
WHEN I SAID I WAS GOING TO BE
TALKING TO YOU, THEY SAID,
"WE'VE GOT TO SEE THAT AGAIN."
>> AND THEY'LL HAVE A COMPLETELY
DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE NOW.
>> I CAN'T SAY.
>> IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE.
IT'S A DELIGHT TO TALK TO YOU.
>> LIKEWISE, THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU SO MUCH.
>> SUCH A MARVELOUS PRODUCTION.
WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE YOU
VISIT WITH US.
GOOD LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU.
>> THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING US.
>> AND "LION KING" IS PLAYING AT
THE MINSCOFF THEATER.
FOR INFORMATION --

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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