The Lion King's book is miserably weak, and Elton John and Tim Rice's songs hit the nadir of pop corniness. Thank goodness then for the spectacular artistry of director-designer Julie Taymor's sets, costumes, masks and puppetry. The wildly exotic pictures she paints onstage--the enormous rising sun, the trompe l'oeil wildebeest stampede, the clever use of shadow, the dancers tumbling through the sky on wires--are jaw-droppingly beautiful.
The rest is just a silly excuse to sell souvenirs.
Shelley Tharp-Payton is buried by life but not by Samuel Beckett's absurd ideas in Kitchen Dog's Happy Days.
Happy Days continues through October 13 at the Kitchen Dog Theater. For information, call 214-953-1055
The Lion King continues through October 20 at the Music Hall at Fair Park. Call 214-631-ARTS.