The Lion King will take on an Indian flair with Raja Simha, a Magic in Movement production at Mesa Community College’s Performing Arts Center on Sunday, September 30.
During the play, actors will wear Broadway-production-like masks that sit on top of their heads to amplify the make-up detail and highlight facial expressions.
“We paint their faces, too,” says Asha Gopal, founder/director of Arathi School of Dance. “There are folk dances, high-end drama, martial arts and intricate makeup. The stage will be beautiful and the set is gorgeous.”
Like The Lion King, Raja Simha has a powerful message, she says.
“The play is sensitive to wildlife and ecology that imparts values and life skills to children.
“But it’s for adults and children. Anyone who knows the story of The Lion King and relate to it. It’s very important for my students to experience this kind of production. They learn how to put on their makeup. The drama is there and the dancing is very good.”
A portion of ticket sales will go toward helping residents in the flood-affected regions of Kerala and Kodagu in India.
“They don’t have anything,” Gopal says. “They’re trying to rebuild, and they’ll take any kind of funds.”
RajaSimha, Mesa Community College’s Performing Arts Center, 1520 S. Longmore, Mesa, 480.231.3163, 4 p.m. Sunday, September 30, $10 students, $15 adults.