While news of the upcoming animated remake of the 1994 Disney film have spurred excitement, there is a different kind of adaptation of Disney's The Lion King that has been entertaining fans for years. And this month, the musical heads to Sarasota at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall. Actor Jared Dixon is excited for what he promises is an otherworldly experience of live theater.
Dixon is originally from Queens, New York. The Lion King is his first major Broadway touring production.
"I started my career pretty raw, I didn't have a lot of technical training," Dixon says. "I learned on the job working in regional theater. I've really grown into myself as an actor figuring out how to portray this role."
Dixon stars as Simba, the musical's protagonist. And while many attendees may be familiar with the popular 1994 Disney film, there are some differences with this live-action musical adaptation of the same story.
"We've added scenes, and there are some changed lines from the movie," Dixon says. "But it has the same exact feel. You'll still get that nostalgia and, of course, that feeling of triumph. It'll pull at those same heart strings."
And as for longtime fans of the theater, Dixon promises that this musical has all of the aspects that make live performances so great.
"Every working aspect of live theater is on display," Dixon says. "It's got great acting, music and puppetry. The attention to detail, and authentic portrayal of African cultures, is why the show's been so successful. It's a beautiful representation."
The Tony-award winning musical, The Lion King, comes to the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall from Thursday, March 14, through Sunday, March 31. Tickets are available at the box office, by calling (941) 953-3368, and online.