Archive for June, 2011

The Lion King Comes to the Stage in a City Near You

It’s been nearly 20 years since we first fell in love with The Lion King, and Disney fans still can’t get enough of this Shakespearean tale adapted to the African jungle. While the animation of the original 1994 cartoon feature was stunning, let’s be honest, the music and the emotional storyline is what truly made The Lion King special.

You might even say that The Lion King is simply too good to waste on direct to video animation–as the disappointing follow ups The Lion King 2: Simba’s Pride and The Lion King 1 1/2 showed us. No wonder then that Disney allowed their best fairy tale to be adapted into a stage musical on Broadway!

Everything you loved about the original Lion King mythology is recreated for the stage show. The classic songs, with music by Elton John and lyrics by Tim Rice, are back along with some additional music by South African composter Lebo M. If you loved the epic nature of “The Circle of Life” then you are sure to love the Lebo M’s masterworks like “He Lives In You” and “The Lioness Haunt.” The storyline remains true to the original work, recreating the three act-formula of the movie without much leeway for change. However, there are some interesting details in the new script; Rafiki the baboon is now a female monkey, and there is also a lengthy subplot involving the evil Scar and Nala, Simba’s love interest.

Wait a minute…how does the stage production of The Lion King manage to create animated characters in a real world minimalistic setting? Well, it’s not really minimalistic…the sets and the costumes are truly out of this world, as they blend together actors in animal costumes as well as giant puppetry devices. It’s an amazing vision of The Lion King and one of the most imaginative productions you will ever see.

This is truly one production where lead billing doesn’t matter, as it is fairly difficult to mess up such an archetypical role as a good lion and an evil lion. The choreography is truly the standout, just as Disney once transcended animation with the original film. This Tony Award-winning musical is appropriate for all ages and is just as entertaining for children as it is for adults.

Get your Lion King Musical tickets at today.

Who Are the NFL Favorites in 2012?

indianapolis_coltsIt’s never too early to start talking about NFL favorites for Super Bowl XLVI in 2012. We are hoping to get a great NFL season – even if that season is abridged. The plans are already underway to host the Super Bowl Indianapolis, Indiana, in the Lucas Oil Stadium, so you have to believe that the Indianapolis Colts are eyeing a team victory in their home arena. In fact, it’s the first time that an NFL Super Bowl is being held in the city of Indianapolis. So you can bet that football fans are excited regardless of whose name is on the ticket.

If the NFL owners come to an agreement with the players, the big game will take place on February 5, 2012. So provided these boys come to their senses and start thinking about the fans (come on guys…we want the 2012 Super Bowl and of course our kegs of beer) we are sure to see a fiercely competitive season. Websites like and have posted their odds for each and every NFL team, based on roster data and team performances in recent years.

According to the odds, the Panthers, the Bills, the Cardinals and the Broncos are all bottoming out. The sky also looks dim for the Bengals, Browns, Redskins, Rams and Jaguars. That leaves underdogs like the Tennessee Titans (who are still looking for a player to put them over the edge), the Oakland Raiders (one quarterback short of a great team) and the Seattle Seahawks who have a history of almost achieving greatness.

Some pundits are saying that it’s all about the quarterback this season, since several teams are having quarterback issues. Favorites for the season include the home team Colts, who did dominate the AFC South and has a power player in Peyton Manning, as well as the San Diego Chargers who have Marcus McNeill and Vincent Jackson, and the Dallas Cowboys, who have Jason Garrett, and who are undoubtedly hungry for Super Bowl spotlight again. Intense competition may exclude the Bears, the Giants and the Ravens, but then again, a short season tends to be unpredictable.

As far as favorites go, it’s hard to ignore past performances and New Orleans, Green Bay (last year’s winner), Pittsburgh Steelers, and the New England Patriots (who are the odds on favorite) are the teams to beat this year. The only other dark horse team is the Philadelphia Eagles, who are promising an aggressive strategy in signing free agents. If Super Bowls are determined by the players, then we may know the winner as early as training camp dates. What do you think? Is there an odds-on favorite in your mind?

Get your NFL tickets now for the 2012 season!

What is the Phantom of Las Vegas Show?

phantom_las_vegasIf you have heard rumors of a phantom in Las Vegas, then beware! Know that this man, this thing, is not your father! And it’s not The Phantom of the Opera production that you remember. However, it is the “official” Andrew Lloyd Webber Phantom jazzed up for Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is a huge city of entertainment, and features so many productions and establishments, you can hardly afford to stay in one spot for an entire evening. This is why Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular has been edited from its original running length, which runs almost three hours. The new show is 93 minutes long and has no intermission. The production was created by the original director and choreographer of the production (Harold Prince and Gillian Lynne) though it features updated sets and high-tech pyrotechnics and even some strobe lighting.

Best of all, the production is held inside the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. The theatre has been specially created to resemble the legendary Opera Garnier in Paris. The Phantom of the Opera is the now the longest-running musical in Broadway history, as well as the top grossing production of all time. This multiple Tony Award winning production features some of the most beautiful songs ever penned, including “Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again” and “Think of Me”, and of course, the universally known “The Phantom of the Opera” duet.

In the Vegas production, because of the exhausting schedule, three roles are double cast. This means that two actors in each pair will sing alternative performances. As of June 2011, the cast includes Anthony Crivello as the phantom, Kristi Holden as Christine, Andrew Ragone as Raoul, and Kristen Hertzenberg as a Christine alternate.

Public interest in the 1980s musical has increased ever since the 2004 movie adaptation of the play starring Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum and Patrick Wilson. However, every actor who has ever played Phantom or Christine aspires to recreate the ghostly voice of Michael Crawford and the angelic tones of Sarah Brightman.

Phantom – The Las Vegas Spectacular Tickets are on sale at great prices for a Vegas show, not to mention an official Broadway production. Why not savor each sensation and listen to the music of the night, while having a great night in Vegas?

Looming Lockout Continues For 2011-2012 NFL Season


The looming threat of the NFL continues for 2011-2012. It’s the NFL Lockout, the sports equivalent of the Actors Strike and Writers Strike. However, the pivotal issue being fumbled is that of a new proposed bargaining agreement that suggests the owners want more revenue than they are getting.

In previous seasons, owners took roughly one billion dollars from revenue of about nine billion dollars. However, team owners state that due to the recession (or in their words “the economic realities of the era”) they want over a 100% raise, citing $2.4 billion dollars as their aim.

How’s that for a reversal of fortune? This time it’s the big wigs and executives who want a pay hike rather than the “talent.” What does this mean for our LaDainian Tomlinson’s and Tom Brady’s? This means that players would have to take a revenue cut of 18%. Gee, does this seem likely to you?

This is not to suggest that the locker room is unanimously against the proposal. Some players do understand where these costs are coming from, as many team owners are investing big money in remodeled stadiums and other important promotional expenses. Some sources are suggesting that the players want to retain a 50/50 split of revenue, which the owners are adamantly countering with an offer of 51-49.

If the worst-case scenario happens and there is no NFL 2011-2012, this will not only hurt the league and the sport but hosting cities and essentially the entire United States. The NFL Lockout website states that an estimated $160 million would be lost in each NFL city; in addition to 115,000 jobs. The worst-case scenario looks scary indeed.

However, as of June 6, 2011, sources (like Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal) are optimistic, but slightly muted in enthusiasm. The NFL is planning for a season this year, though it could be as little as eight games, possibly started by the last quarter of 2011. While this isn’t as exciting as a full season on schedule, it does offer some hope that there will not be a total “lockout” due to poor negotiations between the NFL and the players association (NFLPA).

Talk of a lockdown has been happening since last year’s Super Bowl. These boys have until October to make a deal. You can bet NFL tickets will go fast with such a potentially short season. Stay tuned for more information on the lockout on the blog.

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