Pride of Broadway
'THE LION KING' HEADS FOR ATLANTA IN A GRAND-SCALE PRODUCTION PACKED WITH SPECTACLE AND IMAGINATION. By Wendell Brock - Staff
Previews 8 p.m. Friday; opens 8 p.m. Saturday. Through March 16.
$21-$132. Broadway in Atlanta series. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. N.E. 404-817-8700, www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.
Seven-year-old Atlanta resident Robert Keith Payne II has what his elders fear is a Simba-otic relationship with "The Lion King." The second-grader has watched the blockbuster Disney video so much that his parents have had to hide it.
But knowing the story backward and forward has had an unexpected payoff for the family. Last summer, when Disney auditioned singers in Atlanta for the national tour of the Broadway musical based on the animated movie, Robert's 11-year-old sister, Alexandria, decided to try out. Much to the family's surprise, the precocious fifth-grader with no professional theater experience got the part of the young Nala, the cohort and eventual consort of the princely lion cub Simba. The Paynes have been "Hakuna Matata"-ing it ever since. click for more