Behind-the-scenes at ‘The Lion King’ musical headed to Abu Dhabi 

Behind-the-scenes at ‘The Lion King’ musical headed to Abu Dhabi 
‘The Lion King’ musical makes its Abu Dhabi debut on Nov. 16. (Supplied) 
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Updated 15 November 2022

Behind-the-scenes at ‘The Lion King’ musical headed to Abu Dhabi 

Behind-the-scenes at ‘The Lion King’ musical headed to Abu Dhabi 

DUBAI: Marking 25 years since its Broadway premiere, “The Lion King” stage musical will make its Middle East debut in Abu Dhabi on Nov. 16, providing audiences from across the region with a rare opportunity to enjoy the award-winning production up close and personal in the UAE capital. 

The long-running adaptation of Disney’s popular 1994 animated film tells the coming-of-age story of young lion prince, Simba, who is forced to mature quickly when his father dies and he has to reclaim his birth-right. 

“What I’m so excited in bringing the show to Abu Dhabi is that this is the original production that has been seen for over 20 years on Broadway, and has been seen on stages in the West End, in Australia, in Hamburg, Japan, in so many theatrical markets around the world, and we will be delivering director Julie Taymor’s extraordinary theatrical vision to local audiences for the very first time. This is truly an iconic production,” said Michael Cassel, CEO of Michael Cassel Group, the theatrical producer leading “The Lion King’s” four-week run at Etihad Arena, in an interview with Arab News.   

“Audiences are in for an absolute treat because it is theater at its very best. The way Julie Taymor — who’s the original director of the production and the first female director to win the Tony Award for Director of Best Musical — what she imagined, and the world she’s created, as she brought the African savannah to life in a theater, is quite simply extraordinary,” he added. 

Over 100 people, both onstage and behind the scenes, will be bringing the show to Abu Dhabi. “We have performers from all around the globe who are in this company of ‘The Lion King.’ It truly is an international company, which is very rare. We have a lot of cast members from South Africa, which is so important to ensure authenticity in terms of the performance and certainly also the music that Lebo M. composed,” said Cassel. 

The stage musical’s popularity is also, of course, helped by the original film’s stellar soundtrack, created by Sir Elton John and Sir Tim Rice, but also adapted for the theater with the help of South African producer and composer Lebo M. 

Expanding on how Lebo M. was brought into the show, Cassel said: “The way that the score for the stage production came to be is that when Tom Schumacher, who is the producer of ‘The Lion King’ and president of Disney Theatrical, was in conversation with Julie Taymor to direct it, he shared with Julie an album which had been released after the film was first released, and it was called ‘Rhythm of the Pride Lands’ and it featured all of this ‘Lion King’-inspired African music composed by Lebo M.  

“When Julie listened to that, she had the great idea that the music — as would be required for a Broadway show — needed to be expanded, and Lebo was engaged to work on production with Julie and with also Elton John and Tim Rice to bring some of his music to the stage production. And, really, that’s now at the core of the show. 

“The music is distinctive in terms of representing the sounds — the rhythms — of Africa, and as I said, you know, it has the hit songs that people may know and love from the film, such as ‘Circle of Life’ or ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight,’ but then features haunting new songs created for the stage, such as ‘Shadowland’ and, one of my favorite songs of all time, ‘He Lives In You,’” he added. 

“The Lion King” runs from Nov. 16 to Dec. 10 at Etihad Arena, Abu Dhabi. 


American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure

American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure
Updated 06 February 2023

American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure

American multinational bank JPMorgan recommends Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure
  • The bank’s annual brochure lists suggested recreational, artistic, and cultural activities to enjoy during holidays
  • The brochure mentions that the museum of ancient Egyptian civilization will display the complete collection of the boy king Tutankhamun

CAIRO: JPMorgan Bank is directing its clients toward the Grand Egyptian Museum in its annual brochure.

The publication is distributed to the organization’s distinguished clients around the world.

It lists suggested recreational, artistic, and cultural activities to enjoy during holidays, while highlighting the most important attractions and places around the world.

This year’s brochure includes many locations, and among them is a picture of the soon-to-be-opened Grand Egyptian Museum, accompanied by some information about the attraction.

It says that the museum of ancient Egyptian civilization will display the complete collection of the boy king Tutankhamun.

Ahmed Issa, Egyptian minister of tourism and antiquities, appreciated the bank’s gesture in recommending the museum to its clients.

The museum’s opening is eagerly awaited and it will be considered one of the most important establishments of its kind in the world.

The minister said that its opening date will be decided as soon as possible, adding that kings, presidents, and senior officials from around the world will attend its inauguration.

Soha Ali, CEO of JPMorgan Bank in Egypt and North Africa, held a meeting with Issa recently, and thanked the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities for its cooperation, and for providing information on the museum, as well as photographs.

JPMorgan Bank, the largest in the US and one of the biggest in the world, issues its booklet on an annual basis.


Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 
Updated 06 February 2023

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates birthday in Saudi Arabia with friends and family 

DUBAI: Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo turned 38 on Feb. 5 and celebrated his birthday with family and close friends in an intimate gathering in Saudi Arabia. 

His longtime partner Georgina Rodriguez and oldest son Cristiano Jr. were also present for the celebrations.  

Among the attendees were his oldest friends Miguel Paixao and Jose Semedo. Ronaldo also invited Madrid-based reporter Edu Aguirre and wife Julia Salmean, along with his new personal manager and agent Ricky Regufe and personal wealth manager Miguel Marques.

Ronaldo took to Instagram to share a few snapshots from the day, captioning the post: “Thank you everyone for all the birthday messages. Grateful to have spent the day with my family and friends.” 

In the photos, the football superstar can be seen posing in front of a table laden with multiple birthday cakes. Another photo shared in the carousel of images shows Ronaldo taking advantage of the winter weather on what appears to be a trip to the desert, complete with a roaring bonfire and traditional tents.  

 

 

Rodriguez also took to social media to post a loving message for Ronaldo’s birthday. “Happy days to the love of my life. In love with you and what we are together,” wrote the Argentine model. 

After scoring his first goal for Al-Nassr last week, Ronaldo will be next seen in action on Thursday against Al-Wehda in a Saudi Pro League match. 


Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai

Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai
Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Elba is also a DJ and has performed at venues across the world. (AFP)
Updated 06 February 2023

Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai

Actor-DJ Idris Elba to headline techno music festival in Dubai

DUBAI: Hollywood actor and DJ Idris Elba is set to headline the Dubai edition of global techno and house music festival Elrow XXL on Feb. 17, it was announced on Monday.

Emmy and Golden Globe-winner Elba is also a DJ and has performed at venues across the world, including Coachella, Sound in Los Angeles and Output in New York. His UK apperances include Ministry of Sound in London, as well as both the Creamfields and Glastonbury festivals.

A map of the Dubai edition shared by the festival on social media. (Instagram)

His appearance at the Elrow XXL marks his first time performing in the Middle East.

Elrow XXL will be held at Dubai Design District on Feb. 17 and 18.

The festival has previously been staged in 84 cities across 34 countries, including London, Barcelona, Ibiza, Amsterdam, Madrid, Las Vegas, Antwerp, Frankfurt  and New York.

“I love Dubai. And I love playing Elrow shows. I’m looking forward to this one a lot,” Elba said in a released statement.

Apart from Elba, the festival features a lineup of international DJs and artists, including Armand Van Helden, Sam Devine, Sonny Fodera, Alisha, Arielle Free, R3WIRE, Wade and Chelina Manuhutu.


Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival

Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival
Updated 06 February 2023

Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival

Egyptian film ‘Feathers’ wins big at Joburg Film Festival

DUBAI: Egyptian director Omar El-Zohairy’s “Feathers” took home the Best Film prize at the 5th Joburg Film Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, this weekend.  

The much-awarded film was the winner of Cannes Critics’ Week in 2021 and bagged awards at the El-Gouna Film Festival, Carthage Film Festival and Pingyao Film Festival, as well as last year’s Rabat International Author Film Festival. 

“The jury process for 2023’s Joburg Film Festival was an amazing meeting of minds of a highly experienced and diverse African team of filmmakers,” said juror Njoki Muhoho, according to Variety.  

“During the deliberations, the diversity of knowledge and skills in storytelling came into play. The respect for fellow filmmakers’ craft was evidenced in the discipline and attention in which we screened and watched the films,” Muhoho added.  


US actress Megan Fox stuns in Lebanese label at Grammys 2023

US actress Megan Fox stuns in Lebanese label at Grammys 2023
Updated 06 February 2023

US actress Megan Fox stuns in Lebanese label at Grammys 2023

US actress Megan Fox stuns in Lebanese label at Grammys 2023
  • Beyonce broke the record for the most Grammy wins of any artist, scoring her 32nd prize ever

DUBAI: US actress Megan Fox opted for an elegant white gown from Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad as she supported her musician-fiance Machine Gun Kelly (MGK)  at the 2023 Grammy Awards on Sunday night.

The couple, who were going for a “Romeo & Juliet” look wore complimentary outfits in matching metallics, with Fox opting for a more toned-down look to shine light on her partner.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Maeve Reilly (@stylememaeve)

Fox’s stylist took to Instagram to share the story behind her look. “Story time, when Adam shared the sketch of MGK’s look, I immediately thought of Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Romeo and Juliet.’ I wanted to find a simple classic white gown for Megan but still something that felt like her with a bit of an edge.

“I knew this was the dress the second I saw it and begged them to ship it in from Paris for me. It was exactly what she wanted and was the only thing she tried on. Tonight was his night so we really wanted to keep her look simple and classic so he could shine,” posted Maeve Reilly on Instagram.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Megan Fox (@meganfox)

The "Transformers" actress, 32, added to the glam with a custom 14K carat white gold and diamond nail set by Marrow Fine Jewelry and Nails and jewelry from designer Lorraine Schwartz.

This year, MGK was up for best rock album for “Mainstream Sellout,” but ahead of the ceremony, the win went to Ozzy Osbourne's “Patient Number 9.”

Meanwhile, superstar Beyonce broke the record for the most Grammy wins of any artist, scoring her 32nd prize ever and fourth of the night to resounding applause.

She won the title by winning the Grammy for Best Dance/Electronic Music Album for her smash “Renaissance,” surpassing the late classical conductor Georg Solti, who had 31 awards.

“I’m trying not to be too emotional,” the singer-songwriter said as her husband Jay-Z stood and applauded her. The singer thanked her late uncle, her parents, Jay-Z and her children for supporting her. “I’m just trying to receive this night. I want to thank God for protecting me. Thank you, God.”

Former One Direction member Harry Styles won the award for Best Pop Vocal Album for “Harry's House.” The singer said recording the song was one of the “greatest experiences of my life. It’s been my greatest joy.”

Also, notably, actress Viola Davis emerged from Sunday's show an EGOT — a term for those who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony — after her win for best audio book, narration and storytelling recording.