The Lion King Pride Rock on Broadway is an update to the original book of the same title that was released in 1998, to mark the 20th anniversary of the Broadway show. The book is written by Julie Taymor who is the director of the play and won the Tony for best director and costume design for the Lion King. Julie takes you on a journey from the initial concept through all phases of development for the costumes, sets, music, cast, and production. She shares some of the challenges and hurdles her team encountered and how they found solutions. The update includes a new design featuring new photos as well as retrospective essays by Julie Taymor and Thomas Schumacher.
I enjoyed reading through this book and appreciated the firsthand accounts from Julie as well as others involved at how they viewed the process and challenges. Three aspects of the book really stood out to me as I read through this book. First, being able to see Julie’s initial concepts for the costumes and read her explanation/details of each then compare that to pictures of the final outcome. I thought this was really interesting and it showed the evolution of her creative process. In the middle section of the book Julie goes into detail of several scenes/musical numbers looking at how they were interpreted for the stage including costumes and sets. Lastly the technical rehearsals section was really interesting to me. She provides a bullet list of some of the “crises” that popped up during the process and shared how they resolved them.
If you are a fan of the Lion King on Broadway or interested in learning more about the process that brought the film to the stage the Lion King Pride Rock on Broadway should be considered for your library. Having the author be the director and creative lead brings a more in depth and personal feeling to the narrative. Reading firsthand accounts of the vision and the hows and whys decisions were made sets this apart from many other books on the play.