BMS Lion King Musical draws parents and community
More than 200 parents, children, teachers and Burton School District staff filled the auditorium at Burton Middle School to watch the first performance of The Lion King, Jr. Musical on Friday.
They thoroughly enjoyed a magical and enthralling production of the famous Disney play, with marvelous costumes, masks, and clever animal costumes.
Daniella Lovato directed the Burton Middle School drama department for two performances on Friday and Saturday in the newly renovated theater.
The cast of about 34 students was from fourth grade and up from all district campuses, who have been working on the play since mid-january.
Jennifer Cannella is the co-director, and was in charge of the costumes and props.
Sydney Maertens and her class made the masks for the main characters (the lions), and some of the props, and the circle of life animals.
Students in Linda Lofren’s class choreographed several songs and dances in the play as well as set design and character props, like the puppet Zazu, the lion heads, and the African animals. “I am very proud of all these students and the hard work they have put into the play,” said Lovato.
“We are very excited to have our first production of Burton Visual and Performing Arts play the Lion King, Jr., “said district superintendent Sergio Mendoza, “The first of many in our newly renovated theater.”
“I could not be more proud of all the hard work and dedication these kids have put into this production. Not only that, we have an amazing group of directors!” said Cannella.
Parents Leona and John Garcia’s two daughters were in the play, Cyndal, 14, and Serenity, 12. “This is going to be exciting. I’ve seen our daughters rehearsing long and hard,” said Leona, “We’re very excited. It’s always been an emotional play for me.”
The marvelous music, imaginative and colorful costumes, and a great story made the whole production captivating.
The music is from Disney’s Lion King, and the famous “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” when Simba and Nala meet again. The other marvelous musical pieces have a great African beat and some wording and throughout the play the African theme permeates the story.
“This was a great production and a wonderful opportunity for our kids,” said parent Lori Phillips.
Alex Shimer, 7, said, “I liked baby Simba. He was really good at singing.”
His father, BUSD Assistant Superintendent David Shimer, said “It was amazing how the talent in our kids showed through. Everything from the sets, to props, to the masks, were created by the students from the district. It was great to see our younger students participate in the play and see the future they can have with theater. And this theater will allow us to do some really professional productions.”
Brooke Berry, who’s in 8th grade at BMS, and played the role of Pumba, the Warthog, and friend of Simba, said, “The play was a fun experience and it helped me put myself out there — not being so shy.”
A woman in the audience said, “I think all the teachers, the students and the whole cast did a great job. They’ve been working so hard.”