TAIPEI, July 24 (Xinhua) -- Giant puppets of an "elephant" and "rhino" walk by the audience; "Simba" and "Nala" -- each played by an actor and actress in animal costumes -- look at each other with love; the melodies of "Circle of Life" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" echo in the theatre.
The Broadway musical "The Lion King" has been staged in Taiwan since Saturday, attracting many fans, old and young alike, to personally feel its glamour at the landmark Taipei Arena.
On the heavily Africa-featured stage, performers with different nationalities interpret the classical characters with their rich body languages, unique voices and theatrical properties, presenting the audience with a journey of love and adventure on the African savanna.
Adapted from the 1994 Walt Disney Animation Studios' animated feature film of the same name, the musical debuted in 1997 in the United States.
With nature's rule "circle of life" as the main line, the show unfolds with the little lion king Simba's adventures away from home and how he learned the great responsibilities of being a king after going through multiple challenges and difficulties.
Omar Rodriguez, resident director of the show, said Tuesday at a press conference that the musical strives to combine storytelling with performers' physical movements and reflects the growth of characters through changes in their costume designs.
"This is really a show about how to deal with human emotions," he said. "It's about you and about us."
Since its debut in 1997, the musical has attracted around 100 million audience members from around the world. It has also earned numerous awards and honors, including six Tony Awards in 1998, including one for Best Musical and one for Best Direction of a Musical.
Producer Michael Cassel said Tuesday that the show's worldwide success in the past two decades came from its "universality," the fact that it combines elements from different cultures and, through the stories of animals, "helps humans better think who we are."
Earlier this month, the new live-action remake of "The Lion King" film hit the big screens on the Chinese mainland, raking in a total of more than 550 million yuan (about 80 million U.S. dollars) in the local box office, according to China Movie Data Information Network.
In 2016, the Chinese version of the musical "The Lion King" was staged in Shanghai, which was not only done in Mandarin but also added local touches through the procession, translation and performers.