A Live ‘The Lion King’ Musical On The Voice-Based App, Clubhouse, Is Getting Nothing But Love

If you’ve spent a good amount of time on social media within the last few months, you’ve probably heard of Clubhouse. The up and coming voiced-based social media app has become the new wave in the world of online communication and has also become a great way for folks to engage in social interactions of all kinds in the midst of a pandemic. While the app has made headlines recently for the things celebrities have said on it, today’s news is thanks to some every-day, yet very talented, people on the app.

Led by marketing executive and event producer Noelle Chesnut Whitmore, a live rendition of The Lion King musical has made its way to Clubhouse. The musical is well-produced as many of the cast members, all who auditioned last month for the more than 40 roles in the musical, flawlessly performed their respective roles, sang, and played instruments with little to no delay or lags on the app.

In a press release, Whitmore revealed that the idea to bring The Lion King to Clubhouse came after she met Chris “Boogie” Glover, a user on the app, and was impressed by his distinct voice, one she quickly realized would be perfect for the role of Mufasa. After hearing him recite a few lines, the idea for the musical was put into motion.

Whitmore is the director and executive producer for the Clubhouse edition of The Lion King while Kam Dela and Bomani X, the latter whose face is depicted on the Clubhouse app icon, are musical directors. Award-winning actor Myles Grier voices Simba and Nala is voiced by Mir Harris. Other actors notable names in the show include Gina Belafonte, Dr. Victor, Nilaja Hill, Minh Do, Brandon Rainey, Tunde Sho, Dai Thompson, Felicia Brathwaite, Aja Monet, and Shannon Yang. Despite the app’s limiting capabilities, the crew changed their profile pictures frequently (an act referred to as “PTR” or pull to refresh) to update the “scenery” as the musical progressed.

The first show for the Clubhouse edition of The Lion King musical began on December 26 at 3PM EST. At the time of this post, 5,000 individuals joined the room to watch the cast reenact the undeniable classic. As a result, #TheLionKingCH hashtag began to trend on Twitter and it currently sits as the second-highest trending topic in the United States. Fans took to Twitter to express their excitement and appreciation for the musical.

One listener said, “Black people are so fucking creative! I love us. Only ~we~ could’ve orchestrated an audio-only production of The Lion King and still make it interesting, captivating, immersive & heart-wrenching.” Another blown-away fan said, “There Is is nothing that Black Creatives can push themselves to accomplish. This is really a amazing way to utilize clubhouse. Brings out your imagination in the most beautiful way.” They added, “Feels like you are watching it without watching it.”

A second show of The Lion King musical on Clubhouse will take place on Saturday at 8PM EST. Scroll down to see more reactions from listeners.