Lion King and Santa all in one big day
Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021
Lions and hyenas, giraffes and gazelles, birds on twirling poles and a whole lot more! Oh my! One huge lumbering elephant, glowing fireflies and a gaseous, but lovable, old wart hog all make for a perfect Saturday afternoon, and not at the zoo (though it’s a pretty cool place too), for a passel of grandchildren. The Disney production of The Lion King was quite a treat for our crew.
We started with lunch at Aldo’s Pizza Pie on Main Street, an easy walk after parking beside the Orpheum. DW and I arrived first, ordered up a table for 13 and waited as our family assembled. The kiddos are always more than happy to see each other and we are more so than they. We ate garlic knots and downed a few pizzas and a gallon or two of Sprite which the children get to order on special occasions. And it was.
DW and I love taking the children to fun places for Christmas instead of wrapping up so many presents that they mostly outgrow or soon forget. For years DW and I enjoyed holiday concerts and looked forward to sharing the enjoyment with our grandchildren. In 2019 we all enjoyed the fantastic Tran Siberian Orchestra at the FedEx Forum after supper at the Hardrock Café. For years, though we couldn’t wait for the Mannheim Steamroller (MS) to come to Memphis
The first time we saw the MS live was at the Memphis Pyramid, long before it became a glorified “bait shop” as DW calls it. That was one enchanting production with a holiday train traveling around the floor, falling snowflakes and more lights than one can imagine…. like twinkling stars in the heavens. The Hallelujah Chorus never sounded more beautiful.
The Steamrollers, as Mack now calls them, are our absolute favorite choice for holiday music. One year, long before grandchildren arrived, my mother and DW’s sister joined our family for their concert at the Orpheum after supper at Huey’s. I love the memories. Another time Mack and Laura came with us, and then the next time we had granddaughters in the mix.
As long as the Steamrollers come to Memphis we will attend. But this year they didn’t, so the Lion King fit the bill. And the kiddos were totally mesmerized as I was mesmerized just watching them sit spellbound as the cast of performers entertained us with songs, chants, dances, and outstanding gymnastics. The way the actors moved the animal costumes, puppets and props was absolutely amazing, so totally lifelike. A feast for the imagination.
If you don’t know The Lion King story, it’s about a good king (of the jungle) who prepares his young cub (Simba) for becoming king. But as most stories go there is jealousy, drama, deception, murder, selfishness, destruction, romance, and …well you should see the show to see how it ends! The music is spellbinding, the costumes are awesome, and the performers are outstanding. (I’ve run out of adjectives!) It is the total package.
But there was more! Our procession moved on down to the Pyramid for pictures with Santa and supper, as granddaughter Emree exclaimed, at “Santa’s Pro Shop”. And bless the young photographer’s heart she absolutely had the magic touch. All six grands looked and smiled at the camera from their seats on the wooden bench seat in front of Santa. (But maybe it was because the big guy was right behind them.)
One more traditional picture of our crew doing their growling bear imitation in front of the grizzly bear with snarling faces and claws poised and it was time to go home. Round #1 of our Christmas adventures was complete. As they drove out of sight, I had visions of my pajama clad littles snuggled in their nice warm beds dreaming of lions, hyenas, and snarling bears! I could feel the love that night.
But the best part was spending the day with our family, and that’s what the holidays are all about…we are ever thankful.
Hakuna Matata y’all!