by Shruthika Padhy '23
Growing up in Arizona, Broadway was a distant dream, but after moving to the East Coast, it quickly rose on my bucket list. This October, I finally had the opportunity to attend “The Lion King” in the Minskoff Theatre on Broadway through Peddie’s Culture Bus program. The Culture Bus is funded in part by a generous alumnus and allows students to attend a variety of Broadway musicals and other events free of charge!
“The Lion King” was an absolutely captivating experience. I got to see my favorite childhood show tunes like “Hakuna Matata,” “Circle of Life,” and “I Just Can’t Wait To Be King” performed live as a pair of talented percussionists played in the balconies overlooking the stage. Cast members wore masks and operated puppets simulating the various animals of the African Savanna. For example, the actors playing Simba, the main character, wore a shockingly realistic mask of an adult lion with a mane. With its phenomenally coordinated puppetry, stunningly lifelike costumes with intricate details, synchronized choreography and ingenious stage design, it was clear to see why "The Lion King" is one of the longest-running Broadway shows of all time!
It was wonderful to be fortunate enough to head to Broadway so soon after its return in mid-September following its pandemic-induced hiatus. “The Lion King” was my favorite childhood movie, and the fact that it was my first Broadway experience made the show even more special. It was my perfect introduction to Broadway, and I am so grateful for Peddie, as well as the generous donors and committed faculty and staff members who make opportunities like these possible.