I found this review interesting to listen to and was glad that Aldridge had such a visceral emotional response to the show, though I disagree on his point that one needs to have seen the film to get the best experience of the show. I thought perhaps his very enthusiastic response to the show was partly owing to a lack of experience in general, as evidenced in this quotation from the review:
Barry Aldridge wrote:
This is my first ever musical, because I’ve been skeptical about musicals in the past and this is probably is the best musical I’ve ever seen.
While I absolutely agree that the costumes and choreography and indeed many of the other theatrical aspects of the show are incredibly engaging and although I enjoyed The Lion King when I saw it, I don’t feel it’s a perfect show by any means. There are very definitely problems with the book (in its construction, in some of the new scenes contrived for the show and in some of the actual dialogue) and with some of the additional musical material created for the adaptation, particularly the songs added to the show that were written by Elton John and Tim Rice. Even so, I think it is a good gateway show and I hope that Aldridge has checked his skepticism and seen a few more musicals since his experience of The Lion King!