My grandfather was one of the most important people in my life and I know is a huge influence/reason for the person I am today. I am really attached to the many things I did with him (to name a few: horse racing, playing cards/Monopoly, traveling, always seeking to learn new things). One thing I have great memories of is going to see plays like Showboat with him and my grandmother in downtown Chicago. That combined with the fact that I live just a couple blocks from the Adrienne Arsht Center makes it pretty embarrassing it took me two years to get inside. I’ve walked by (and photographed) the Arsht Center often, but never had been to a performance before today.
Putting that embarrassment I think I picked a great opportunity to visit- to see the Lion King! I hadn’t seen the Lion King before and was looking forward to that and visiting the inside of the Arsht. The play was awesome! The story is very similar to the movie with only some minor differences. What was great was seeing the parts of the movie really come alive (especially the songs) with amazing costumes, dancing, and singing. This was especially cool to see with old favorites/classics like Circle of Life, Hakuna Matata, and Can You Feel The Love Tonight (which were quite large and magnificent productions). The costumes for the animals were very impressive and I would say certainly added to the magic of the major scenes from the movie. It was also cool to just relive the Lion King story from my childhood with old character favorites like Timon and Pumba and remember the old jokes. My friend said she wanted to go home and just watch Disney movies. I certainly want to visit Disney World soon!
The Arsht Center itself was also great to see. The play was held in the Ziff Opera House (the Knight Concert Hall is a separate building of the Arsht Center across the street). We had been talking about going to the Lion King for awhile but only ended up buying our tickets the morning of. I’m pretty sure we got the last two tickets in the house since they were all sold out afterwards. Luckily we were not the last row in the place… just the third to last. But what is great about the Ziff Opera House is that it is very tall and steep and while it looks incredibly long and deep on the seating map it’s not really that bad of a view from way up high (I would say certainly way better than most arenas when you’re up at the same height). The auditorium also was pitch black during the play which made it easy to see the action on stage (and helped make the Lion King and the colors, costumes, and lights even more impressive).
The Arsht runs a Broadway in Miami season every year and next year (October-May) is going to have favorites like Les Miserables and Mary Poppins so I’m planning on returning for those. The Lion King was awesome to see and helped me remember how much I love seeing plays. I’m also definitely going to shoot to see a concert inside the Knight Concert Hall soon (the Arsht bucket list item can only partially be crossed off). Take advantage of the great performances during the Broadway in Miami season next fall and visit the Arsht Center!
Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd Miami, FL)