Pageantry & extravagance: ‘The Lion King Jr.’ has that – and a lot more

By Michael Basirico
Times-News correspondent

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Ryan Krasinkski, left, and Savannah Martin star as giraffes in The Burlington School's production of "The Lion King Jr." [Miranda Rodriguez / Special to the Times-News

   ”The Lion King Jr.” could possibly be one of The Burlington School’s biggest and most challenging productions to date.
“I’m not kidding, this is the most difficult show I have ever done. You try getting a giant elephant down the aisle of the Paramount Theater. Creating the savanna in the theater is difficult enough, but we have 61 cast members and each scene is created through different costumes. The pageantry and extravagance of this show is bigger than I realized when I chose it,” said director Bethany Baker.
While it has been a lot of hard work, cast members mentioned that in turn, they believe the audience will benefit from the challenges they’ve encountered.
“My favorite part is learning the dances and getting to know what goes on behind the scenes of a show. This is my first show and there is a lot more to put into it than people actually realize. The hardest part of the play is understanding blocking and when to move,” said senior Ligé Reese.
Amelia Arcaro-Burbridge, also a senior, had a bit different response as she has had a greater amount of experience with musical theater.
“My favorite aspect is the unique music and choreography. It’s the largest cast that I have been in under Mrs. Baker’s direction so it’s a greater amount of people that you get to connect with and I’ve gained more friends because of this,” she added.
   Showtimes are 7 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018, and Saturday, May 12, and 2 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at the Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling the school at 336-228-0296 or tickets can be purchased at the door.

Michael Basirico is a senior at The Burlington School and a Teens & 20s writer.

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