Singer takes on lead Lion King role
Some might find it hard to relate to a lion but it’s no problem for Nick Afoa.
The Auckland singer has just been cast as Simba in the musical production of Disney’s The Lion King.
He’ll wear the lion costume eight times a week for 14 months, performing in front of thousands at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre.
But he says walking in the feline’s paws won’t be too much of a stretch.
‘‘We have a lot in common in some ways. We’re both quite playful – my wife tells me to grow up sometimes.’’
The Lion King is the highest-grossing Broadway show in history and has been viewed by more than 65 million people.
Its Sydney season begins on December 13 and Mr Afoa and his wife Kimberley are relocating to Australia for its duration.
The sheer scope of the production – which features costumed actors alongside giant puppets – means it’s not possible to bring it to New Zealand.
‘‘I should try, though – I could do a special show here at the zoo in the lion enclosure,’’ he says.
Mr Afoa has sung the National Anthem at numerous sports games but playing Simba is his biggest chal- lenge yet, he says.
Four hundred people auditioned for the role and he regards himself as ‘‘truly blessed’’ to have got it.
‘‘I have to really kick myself – ‘is this really happening’?’’
Big role: Nick Afoa will play Simba in The Lion King. He’s relocating to Sydney for 14 months for the production.