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'Lion King' Making Summer Stop At The Bushnell

‘The Lion King” still rules. The circle of life brings Julie Taymor’s acclaimed stage version of the 1994 animated Disney feature back to The Bushnell for a two-and-a-half-week engagement Aug. 1 to 19.

The stage version’s known for its elaborate puppetry, lighting effects, colorful pageantry and such memorable songs as “Hakuna Matata,” “The Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”

The plot, about a lion cub who overcomes adversity, dangerous adventures and the hostility of the villainous Scar to become the rightful King of Pride Rock, has been likened to Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” and “Macbeth,” and also to the history of South Africa, “The Lion King,” marked its 20th anniversary on Broadway last year. The first U.S. national tour kicked off in 2002 and the show played The Bushnell previously in 2006 and 2010.

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This latest visit of the “The Lion King” is a special summer event. The show’s not part of The Bushnell’s 2017-18 or 2018-19 Broadway subscription series.

It’s a timely visit. Elton John, who composed the songs for the show, will be bringing his “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” tour to Hartford’s XL Center in September. Lyricist Tim Rice has been getting welcome new appreciation this year due to the successful TV production (and numerous regional revivals) of his “Jesus Christ Superstar.”

THE LION KING is at at The Bushnell, 166 Capitol Ave., Hartford Aug. 1 to 19. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m.; Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. There is also a 1 p.m. matinee on Aug. 2. There is no 6:30 p.m. show on the closing Aug. 19. Tickets are $23-$169. 860-987-5900,

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