Tshidi Manye (Rafiki), who has performed in over 5,000 Broadway shows, launches this NPR Tiny Desk Concert with the iconic beginning to The Lion King‘s epic ‘Circle of Life,’ her voice ringing out like a clarion call.
L. Steven Taylor (Mufasa) continues the performance with ‘They Live in You,’ a song that’s exclusive to the stage version of the musical. Pearl Khwezi (Nala) and Brandon A. McCall (Simba) sing the Oscar-winning ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight,’ followed by an abbreviated version of ‘Hakuna Matata,’ sung by Mduduzi Madela, S’bu Ngema, and Lindiwe Dlamini.
Dlamini has been in The Lion King on Broadway for all 25 years of its run. This November 2022 Tiny Desk Concert celebrates that quarter-century anniversary.
“Infused throughout the music of The Lion King is spine-tingling African rhythm and language. It’s as captivating as the groundbreaking costume design by director, co-writer and artist Julie Taymor. The team at Disney Theatrical sent the masks of Simba and Nala in time to be prominently displayed on the desk during the concert.”
An ‘Endless Night’/’Shadowland’ medley and a short reprise of ‘Circle of Life’ closes the concert. Find the performer bios at LionKing.com/cast.
The production’s musicians include Jim Abbott (keyboard, guitar), Anders Bostrom (flutes), David Kuhn (bass), Rolando Morales-Matos (percussion), and Juan Carlito Mendoza (drums).
Watch this next: The Lion King’s animal costumes behind-the-scenes.