When audiences poured into Albertville’s Fine Arts Center to see “Lion King Jr.” they thought, “can you feel the love tonight,” the answer would be a resounding “yes.” From the introduction by Director Kelleybrooke “KB” Brown, when she explained to the crowd how they are trying to use this opportunity to teach the cast not to wave at the audience, all the way to the last scene, the love of theatre these students have was evident.

Brown has worked with many of the cast members for years, and she has made a lasting impression on these children. In a pre-show prayer Tucker Simmons, Albertville High School student and cast member, thanked God for the cast and then crew. He said a special thanks for “KB,” and he referred to her as his “mother.” The closeness of the entire cast to each other and their director made this play about family all more realistic.

“Being part of this ‘Lion King, Jr.’ cast has been a beautiful experience,” Brown said. “We have been so very busy this winter and what a great way to enter springtime. Our cast has worked together beautifully. They take care of each other. They play together and sing together and have formed their own pride in this ‘Pride Land.’ I am honored to be a very small part of the joy they are bringing this community. I love them dearly.”

Albertville High School student who was Scar, Justin MacMahon, 18, said the cast had worked extremely hard and were excited about the show.

“We’ve made tons of progress from when we first started,” MacMahon said. “This is probably going to be my last show with the kids, though, and it makes me pretty sad. [The younger cast members] are going to grow up to be really good. This experience was just really great.”

The Disney classic had the audience’s full attention with detailed costumes, a colorful set, singing voices, choreography and light and sound effects. The well-known story of Simba, Mufasa, Sarabi, Scar, Timon, Pumba, Rafiki, Zazu and all of the other animals in the Pride Lands of Africa, was accompanied by music that most recall from the movie. To say the “Lion King Jr.” captured the hearts of the actors, directors and theater-goers for the entire run of the show, would be an understatement.

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