BWW Review: 'Be A Lion' Bedazzled The Stage!

BWW Review:  'Be A Lion' Bedazzled The Stage!
Elijah Ali as the "Tin Man" in Be A Lion

"Be A Lion" Bedazzled The Stage
By: Vickie L. Evans

Friday night, I had the opportunity to see the sold-out performance of the stage play, Be A Lion, at Duke Energy Theater, in Spirit Square. This was my second time seeing this Broadway-Style musical, and I must say, I enjoyed the improvements that have been made.

Be A Lion bedazzled the stage with its colorful costumes and riveting music. Several elements contributed to the success of this performance. The energy in the room was electrifying. The audience, which included the Tapp High School's marching band from Yorktown, Virginia, was engaging and interactive. In each scene, we laughed and clapped to show our amusement. The original songs were appropriately placed to keep the momentum flowing and was melodiously delivered by the actors. The representation from the local media, to include WSOC-TV and Creative Loafing, was an added value.

For those who are not familiar with the production, Be A Lion, written by award-winning playwright, Rory D. Sheriff, is a modern day urban spinoff similar to The Wiz, which is loosely based on the childhood classic, The Wizard of Oz. The other element that made the production successful is its relatability to the aforementioned. We are reacquainted with the main characters, Dorothy (Nailyah Gardner), Scarecrow (Montrell Dupri), Tin Man (Elijah Ali) and of course, The Lion (Tony Massey), the leader of this pride. It takes us on a journey of the Lion's quest to convince his friends to accompany him in restoring order to Oz, by appointing him as the next leader. Oz has become lawless after the Wizard's untimely departure.

The bases of the storyline is designed to stretch your imagination of what could have happened (from the creative mind of Rory) to those characters after both The Wizard of Oz and The Wiz ended. Not only are we reminded of the characters we grew up with and loved, we are introduced to new characters: Miles, The Mouse (Kineh Sam N'Gaojia) - the faithful friend of The Lion, Ladawn,The Lioness (Ruby Edwards) - the love interest of the Lion, Teenie (Tiffany Cheyenne) - the wife of the Tin Man, who is mentioned in The Wiz, Miss One (Crystal Lee) and Damneesha (Melody Williams) - the evil daughter of the Wicked Witch of the West, Evillene.

This is the last week of Be A Lion, Friday, June 9th is the last day of this running. I encourage you to hurry and purchase your tickets, I understand last Saturday's matinee was sold out, as well. Make it a family affair - take the children and share a piece of our history, with a twist. All you have to do is follow the yellow brick road to Spirit Square. Be A Lion is a Brand New Sheriff Production, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. For more information visit website,

BWW Review:  'Be A Lion' Bedazzled The Stage!
Me, Vickie L. Evans (center) with the cast of Be A Lion and
Award-winning playwright/director (Rory Sheriff)

TICKETS: June 5 - June 9,, Phone: (704) 372-1000
Duke Energy Theater, 345 N College St, Charlotte, NC

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