Singer takes on lead Lion King role

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.