Hollywood: It’s a Jungle out There!
Reported and Written by: Kate Aucella
HOLLYWOOD, CA – “Dancing with the Stars” has officially kicked-off it’s ninth season with a pre-taped performance of “The Lion King” filmed in front of a studio audience on Friday, September 18th for this Wednesday’s episode. HOLLYWOOD JUNKET reporter Kate Aucella was there for the event. Read her review below of this special sneak peek for fans of the show!
The glittering, high-glam set of “Dancing With The Stars” is no stranger to the wonderment of high-octane choreography and sequin-happy costume design. If the pre-showâ€™s performance is any indication, then Season 9 just may be the most magical one yet, thanks to the wildly talented Las Vegas cast of “The Lion King”.
The beloved Cain-and-Abel tale first captured hearts (and box offices) in 1994, when the original film was released; a decade and a half later, its success as a musical theater production has now reached 50 million wide-eyed viewers, with performances on Broadway and in Vegas, as well as a US tour. (I am slightly ashamed to say that although Iâ€™ve worked as a nanny on and off for 15 years, Iâ€™d never sat through the entire film – though after seeing it live, I donâ€™t know that I need to.)
The life-like quality of the creatures that roamed (and danced) before me was nothing short of spectacular. A visually stunning stampede of antelopes, 15-foot high giraffes, a spinning sextet of baby lionessâ€™s, and a towering, crowd-pleasing elephant that required at least six cast members beneath it.
The set design and â€œcostumes,â€ (though the term doesnâ€™t fully do justice to these characters likenesses) were an authentic mix of hand-crafted puppetry and jungle-inspired detailing that successfully transformed a Hollywood stage into a mystical, musical forest, that every kid wants to visit – and every adult wants to re-visit. The choreography was tribal-like and featured sudden bursts of movement from each animal pack, all making their entrance from different corners of the stage, showcasing the intricate craftsmanship of their characterâ€™s gear.
It was impossible to appreciate every individual aspect of this talented tribe, as thereâ€™s so much going on at one time. But, their classic â€œCircle of Lifeâ€ finale brought all the cast members together for a song-and-dance send-up that was clearly the visual proof of why they are enjoying such success.
“Dancing With The Stars” premieres September 21 at 8pm on ABC. The Lion King pre-show will air on Wednesday, September 23, the first â€˜resultsâ€™ show of the new season.