Behind-the-scenes at 'The Lion King' is organized chaos

Behind-the-scenes at 'The Lion King' is organized chaos

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Thousands of you have already seen it and thousands more will see it over the next few weeks. Disney's "The Lion King" cast is back in Memphis, performing at The Orpheum Theatre through March 1.

Behind the scenes, the operation to make The Lion King Gazelle Tour happen is a story in itself.

In between shows at The Orpheum, it's organized chaos for the show's crew.

"This happens every Wednesday for eight hours to make sure everything is looking good," production stage manager Ken Davis said about the organization of everything from puppets to props. "Anything that happens with performers as well as technical elements ends up in my inbox."

To pull off the larger-than-life production, just as many people work backstage as there are people on the stage.

"Lots of dancers wearing interested appareti **apparatus** on their bodies, so we travel with a physical therapist," Davis explained.

Oftentimes, a cast member's costume is a puppet.

"I've had elephant heads fall off, legs fall off of Pumba puppets," added Michael Reilly, the show's puppet master. "Everything you see has been redone so many times."

Actors go through weeks of intense rehearsals just to learn the mechanics of the puppets.

"I always say it takes six months or more to master the puppet," Reilly said.

Tickets to the show are selling out quickly. The website says each show is sold out, but there are a limited number of tickets available at The Orpheum Theatre's box office.

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