One of the bonuses of living so close to the city is definitely partaking in some events I would never have woken up for when I was living on Long Island.
So on Tuesday morning, I woke up at 4:30 a.m., to head to the Minskoff Theatre. Why oh why did I do this you might be asking yourself? On a day when I still put in a full day of work?
Well, The Lion King Broadway cast was performing a live number on Good Morning America that day to celebrate 15 amazing years on Broadway.
By the time I got to the theater, armed with a huge cup of coffee, it was almost 6 a.m. Most of my time outside was spent reading. After 7 a.m., we were invited inside for muffins and water. One of the greatest things about the inside of the Minskoff are the views into Times Square. I know a lot of people don’t like Times Square but for some reason I’ve always felt really at home there, and you know, it’s kind of nice to see everything from up high. Especially when you’re not bumping into all the crowds on the street.
Even the inside of the lobby features Lion King goodness. Here’s a wax figure of Rafiki.
This mask is displayed at the foot of the stairs in the lobby:
While we stood around waiting, we did get to hear the cast rehearsing the “Circle of Life”. Not sure there is a better way to enjoy a view of Manhattan and a blueberry muffin.
Just around 8 a.m. we were let into the main theater. Now the event offered the first 500 people in attendance the opportunity to sit in on a scene from the show. But I’m sad to say that only 100 or so people showed up. (I could have woken up later!) But it was raining and really cold outside and a week day so maybe I shouldn’t have been that surprised. They did offer some prizes (gift bags + later, show tickets) for those who could answer trivia. (I could barely remember my name I was so tired so sadly I went away empty handed.)
Around 8:30 a.m. everyone’s favorite weather guy, Sam Champion, made an appearance. He did a weather check with an interruption from Rafiki, and he introduced a recorded segment from backstage. Not soon after, the cast emerged from the aisles and performed a magnificent “Circle of Life.”
I didn’t take pictures or record anything because, well, we weren’t allowed to. But here’s the video that went up online.
That song never fails to give me chills. I wish I could have seen the whole show, and I just saw it in June. The quality of performance, the authentic feelings from the movie translating so well to the stage… it’s really Disney’s best on Broadway. And after all these years. It’s not everyday a show premieres and remains for 15 years straight. (With ticket prices so close to full price all the time!)
In the end, I waited longer than I even sat for this event but it was well worth it. Even if I was feeling pretty overtired by mid-afternoon…
Happy Birthday The Lion King! Hope to see you around for 15 more years…