Friday, April 23, 2010

Le Roi Lion

I always told myself that I would never see The Lion King again after seeing it eight times in just a few years. It was never my favorite, and it just doesn't lend itself well to multiple viewings. In that sense, it's in a category with The Producers, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Spamalot (just kidding...that's never good, not even the first time), and other musicals like that which, after the first time, lose a lot of what makes them funny. The Lion King is really cool to see a first time, but after that, the costumes aren't as impressive, the story gets even more Disney (and subsequently less Hamelet), and the songs start to get on your nerves. But, I suppose that after maybe eight years, seeing it one more time and in French wasn't the worst idea I ever had. Actually, it was great! Tonight, I rediscovered my childhood, except it was translated into French! Le Roi Lion est un vrai spectacle!

The most interesting part of the whole thing was how identical it was. The translations were all almost word for word, really - "He Lives in You" was "Il vit en toi" and even the parts that weren't word for word didn't change much - "I Just Can't Wait to be King" was "Je veux super vite être roi" (I want to be king super fast!). Next, the actors were all identical! It makes me think that there's just a French counterpart for everything and everyone. Maybe David Sedaris is the American Proust, or Henry Adams the American Hugo. I wonder if there's a French me - maybe she was sitting in the audience, seeing Le Roi Lion for her 8th time and she's studying English so she can go see it in its original language. Wouldn't that be scary? Finally, the audience reaction was identical - they clapped so much, I thought that they thought that, just because "encore" is French meant that they'd get an encore if they cheered enough.

One more thing before I go to bed for tonight: just so you know, when you type in "le roi" into google, the first suggestion they give you is "le roi lion" and the second is "le roi soleil." I wonder what the significance of that is?

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