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  • Tracy Heck

The Lion King makes triumphant return to the Detroit Opera House

Photo by Brinkhoff-Mogenburg

Landmark Broadway show, The Lion King, has made its long-awaited return to Detroit, where it began a run at the Opera House on Thursday and will run through Sunday, February 20th.

The show's engagement is its first in the area since a sold-out month-long run back in 2017, which was also at the Detroit Opera House.

Judging by the enthusiastic response to last night's performance, the show hasn't missed a beat.

After 25 years, the magic of the Disney story remains and hasn't aged at all, delighting both the youngest and oldest of audience members.

The minute the show lights went down and the parade of animals began their descent down the aisles and up on stage, the production had the attention of everyone there and they were as enthralled with the eye popping costumes, staging and special effects as ever.

At this point, it would be hard to find anyone who doesn't know the story of young lion cub Simba's rise to the throne or all the lyrics to the brilliant Elton John and Tim Rice classics, but it is precisely that sentimental value that makes the production so satisfying.

Simba, Nala, Mufasa, Scar, Rafiki, ZaZu, Timon, Pumbaa and the others are like visiting with old friends and the show's ability to so effortlessly take the viewers through the emotional roller coaster ride that is Mufasa's death speaks to The Lion King's longevity.

The current production features a brilliant cast of exuberant performers who embrace their roles with fervor and shine on tracks like "The Circle of Life," "Hakuna Matata," and "Shadowland.

Charlie Kahler and Kalandra Rhodes' chemistry bounces off the stage as a young Simba and Kala respectively and Darian Sanders and Kayla Cyphers bring the adult versions of the characters to life.

Gugwana Diamini sparkles as the flamboyant Rafiki and Spencer Plachy brings just the right hint of sarcasm to villian Scar.

Tickets for the Detroit engagement of The Lion King start at $25 and are available the Fisher Theatre Box Office, online at and at

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