The crowd gathered inside the lobby of the Performing Arts Center at Pleasant Grove High School on Sunday afternoon as early as 2pm for the 3pm showing of Disney’s The Lion King Jr.
The line of theatre-goers stretched out the door and all along the tennis courts because this highly anticipated show boasted 230 students on stage and 35 backstage.
With only three performances offered, Saturday, December 9th, Sunday, December 10 and Monday, December 7th, it was advantageous that the theatre holds 1,000 seats to accommodate the large crowds. The cast not only consisted of the high school drama students and the Pleasant Grove Showstoppers, but also the entire 5th grade class, including 9 homeroom classes.
This Junior version of the Tony Award winning Broadway musical is available for schools to perform and has only been available for a few years. The difference between a full version and a Junior version is the length and the difficulty of songs and harmonies. The music makes it easier for children’s voices.
As the seats filled, Director Debby Sutton came out to welcome the audience and explain that students would be entering from the aisles.
“These kids have been working since August to present this show for you.”
Assistant Director, Allison Morriss Wright, explained a little about the rehearsal schedule.
“So much work has gone into this production, from the costumes and set, to the choreography and lights. The actors have rehearsed at least eight hours every week.”
The story follows the Disney cartoon closely, but also includes new songs written for the Broadway musical. The costumes were bright and imaginative and used detailed masks and even puppetry for a few of the characters.
If you’d like to see the show, there is still one performance this evening at 7pm. The show is free to view, but it is recommended that you get a ticket at the Pleasant Grove office to make sure you have a seat.