CLEVELAND - " Hakuna Matata...what a wonderful phrase," so goes the song that I hear most in my car when accompanied by my 5-year-old daughter.
She is my mini-me in so many ways that it came as no surprise when she first watched "The Lion King" two years ago and fell in love.
I worked in a movie theater when Disney first brought the lion tale to life on the big screen. Hearing the soundtrack blast through the ticket office on rotation during my seemingly endless shifts imprinted "The Lion King" songs into my permanent memory. I loved the story, I loved the animation, but most of all I loved the songs.
Just two weeks after the birth of said 5-year-old, I got to relive the magic of "The Lion King." This time, the magic unfolded on stage at Playhouse Square. For weeks afterwards, I rocked my newborn to sleep to the tune of some of the production's most catchy songs.
I must have imprinted them into her brain as well. Through no encouragement of mine, she fell in love with the story, the animation, and most of all, the songs. She listens to the soundtrack as she drifts off to sleep at night, and requests the Lion King Pandora station every time we back out of the driveway. Even the 2-year-old is beginning to hum along.
So you can imagine my surprise when I open my work email inbox to find a very special announcement from Playhouse Square. By popular demand, Disney's "The Lion King" is returning to Cleveland next year.
"The Lion King"will be here for a four week engagement, from July 9, 2013 with performances playing through Aug. 4, 2013. Tickets go on sale in March.
I am absolutely thrilled beyond belief that I will be able to share my love of the theater with my young daughter in a production that we can both hum along to. The last time I saw "The Lion King" at Playhouse Square, my husband had to hush me throughout most of the musical numbers, as I failed at my attempts to quietly sing along. Five-year-olds don't do anything quietly, so I expect she'll do the same. Especially when they perform her favorite song...Hakuna Matata. It really IS a wonderful phrase.