I'm working at The Lion King this week at the Minskoff. The Minskoff has a great lobby with a 180 degree (give or take a few degress) view of Times Square. So I took several pictures of myself with the northerly view in the background. You might be wondering why I wasn't inside watching the show. Well, aside from the fact that I've seen it at least 10 times, I just don't like the show.
I did noticed something interesting this week. The Lion King is loyal to its dancers and several of the performers have been in the NY production since the beginning. But several of those performers are losing their dancerly forms. In other words, some of the male dancers have gotten a little pudgy. It's pretty distracting.
I don't mind regular bodies but then again, people with regular bodies don't walk around in spandex. Now, interestingly enough, the female dancers all look to be in decent shape. But the guys. Some of the guys have really let themselves go.
There's a scene in Act II where the dancers perform to Can You Feel the Love Tonight. The setting is a wild garden. And several dancers are dressed up to look like wild plants. There's one guy in particular, up stage and center posing like an exotic plant, with arms stretched out to either side and his big belly hanging out. There's also a pas de deux with two dancers who have definitely put on some weight since the last time I saw the show.
I know my critique is harsh. I've been struggling with my weight for years, but then again, I'm not a dancer on Broadway. If I were, I'd be mindful to stay in shape. Of course, this is not ALL the dancers - just a few. I guess it's possible that DISNEY could be making some kind of statement about body image and healthy weights, etcetera. But I think it's more likely that the dancers are locked into really, really good contracts and DISNEY would get rid of them if they could.
Don't go by what I say about the Lion King. I don't like the show which doesn't mean it's bad. I don't have a kid and I'm not or have ever really been a big fan of Disney. This is just my opinion. If you have a kid that can sit still for almost 3 hours, by all means, take that kid to see this show. In terms of family friendliness and production value, you can't beat the Lion King with a stick.
The moral of this anecdote is that if you are a dancer, get a job with the Lion King. You'll have a job for life.