Disney's circle of life comes to a close 

Las Vegas’ production of The Lion King nears end after run at Mandalay Bay

Courtesy Photo

The Las Vegas production of The Lion King comes to an end when the final curtain drops on Dec. 30 after more than 1000 performances and 1 million guests.

To bring the classic 1994 film to life, Disney turned to the story’s roots — its rich mythology and powerful drama — combined with African rhythms to create a fantastic musical unlike anything the stage has ever seen.

The Lion King first debuted on Broadway almost 14 years ago and has become part of what is now eight productions worldwide, bringing the African savanna right in front of the audience’s eyes.

You can only marvel at the exotic precision of animals before you — from the giraffes and elephants to the hippopotamuses and birds in balletic flight.

The costumes, musical score, sets and award-winning cast set a scene that draws the audience in, using choreography that encompasses the aisles, rafters, fly-space and multiple side-line stages that create a heightened sensory experience.

I knew the power this show was going to have as the live orchestra opened the show with “Circle of Life” in which an animal kingdom of the African plains gathers to pay homage to its much loved ruler (Mufasa) and his newly born heir (Simba).

While each performer truly captured the essence of the characters they portrayed, Rafiki (Phindile Mkhize) and Timon (Aaron De Jesus) truly had me believing that their characters lived in our world today.

Tickets for Disney’s The Lion King at the Mandalay Bay are available with a 2 for 1 offer through the box office by mentioning the code “PRIDE” with a valid Nevada ID. Blackout dates are Nov. 23 – 27.

Prices start at $64.