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Arts & Culture

The King Of Broadway Roars Into San Antonio

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Courtesy The Lion King
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Nick Cordileone & Ben Lipitz

It’s a Broadway and touring smash hit. Now it’s set for a San Antonio return engagement. I spoke with one of its animal actors.

(To hear the story, hit Listen above)

That haunting call at the start tells you what show this is.

“In 'The ‘Circle of Life,’ the opening number, everyone reports that it’s the most moving 10 minutes on stage.”

Ben Lipitz plays Pumba, that funny Warthog. He says the opening number gives everyone chills.

“The audience knows they’re not real animals. And yet that majesty and grace and breadth that’s within the performer that creates that, it’s transformative theater.”

People are drawn to positive themes, and it has that too.

“Oh, absolutely. Playing Pumba is probably the most positive part of my life. Whenever anyone meets me and they realize I’m Pumba, there’s that happy, creeping smile that comes over their face, because everybody loves the positivity of 'Hakuna Matata.'”

He sings, he dances, and all while wearing an enormous costume.

“In addition to the costume, wig and make up, I wear a puppet. My puppet weighs 50 pounds.”

The Lion King roars into the Majestic Theater for most of December and a few days in January.

“Thrilled to be returning to San Antonio!”

We’ve more on the Lion King here