Scene of R.F. Hart Foundation’s “The Lion King SXM” which was performed at Belair Community Center on Saturday, September 14, and Sunday, September 15. (John van Kerkhof photo)
BELAIR–The R.F. Hart Tribute Foundation presented three encore performances of its “The Lion King SXM” production at Belair Community Center on Saturday and Sunday. The production’s cast, dancers and choir staged a thrilling and captivating show, which mesmerized the audience and relocated the community centre to the African plains, even if for only a few hours.
The plot of the famous musical and Hollywood film production follows Simba, a young lion who must embrace his role as the rightful king of his native land following the murder of his father Mufasa, at the hands of his uncle Scar.
Directed by Helen Hart and choreographed by Natorii Illidge, St. Maarten’s Lion King production saw young Simba performed by Topper Daboul and grown Simba in the extremely talented hands of Nayomi Tjon, who performed exceptionally well and who sang and acted with a maximum of energy and emotion.
Mufasa was performed by Eugene Brouta and Elona Richardson and Scar by Juriel Thomas. Other well-known characters were played by Shandi Toulen (Rafiki), Charlie Gombis (Zazu), Stéfanie Frederiks (Timon) and Dashannique Pascal (Pumba), while the roles of young and grown Nala were played by Sophia Suire and Krystal Philbert.
Special mention goes out to hyenas Lisa Davis-Burnett, Venice de Weever and Ian Soriano for their highly expressive and humorous, though sarcastic, escapades.
The St. Maarten Community Choir directed by Clara Rayes and Karen Cadogen and Charlie Par Choeur led by Charles Vangeenderhuizen supported the actors on stage with high-quality African songs, which made the show gain in authenticity.
The overall atmosphere of the show was enhanced even more by the costumes designed by Freda Lembert and the headpieces, which were designed by Lidia Contreras and Lambert Holder, while the actors and actresses were face- and body-painted by Funtopia.
Of course, the Lion King also included some dancing, skilfully performed by Mariana Meit, Lucciana Peters, Gaeyle Hanson, Thalia Williams and Rochelle Muller of INDISU Dance Theater of St. Maarten. The dances were choreographed by Illidge and directed by INDISU director Susha Hien.
For those who missed last weekend’s shows, it is hoped that R.F. Hart Foundation will be planning a new series of encore performances. No matter what happens, the theatre-loving audience will undoubtedly be eagerly looking forward to the foundation’s next production.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/90904-r-f-hart-foundation-turns-belair-into-plains-of-africa-2