Grandview stages ‘The Lion King Jr.’

The 105-member cast of Grandview Middle School’s “The Lion King Jr.” assemble outisde the school. (Photo credit Dennis Hoogeveen)
The 105-member cast of Grandview Middle School’s “The Lion King Jr.” assemble outisde the school. (Photo credit Dennis Hoogeveen)
By Lorrie Ham
For The Laker

Hundreds of community members packed four performances of Disney’s “The Lion King Jr.” at Grandview Middle School April 14–17. Put on by the Grandview Middle School Theater and Westonka Community Education and Services, the production involved 105 Grandview students.

Featuring music and lyrics by Elton John and Tim Rice, the production brought the African savannah to the Grandview stage with familiar characters Simba, Rafiki and the rest of the unforgettable cast in this inspiring coming-of-age tale.

“We are so very proud of this incredible cast and crew of ‘The Lion King, Jr.’,” said co-director Kelly Newell. “The four performances moved audience members to tears, as it was filled with goose-bump moments, great singing and wonderful acting.”  

Grandview Principal Christy Zachow agreed.

“I was completely blown away by the talent of these kids,” said Zachow. “To sing, dance and act in front of a crowd when you are a middle schooler can be intimidating, but you would never know it.”

Added Zachow, “It was truly entertaining.”

Newell co-directed the production with long-time director Mary Todd Kaercher, who is proud of being part of Grandview’s “fantastic program of inclusion, inspiration, validation and a whole lot of self-confidence” over the years.