It can only be called a royal connection: Both have spent the last 15 years in the ensemble of “The Lion King” on Broadway. That translates into more than 5,000 shows since 1997.
In 15 years, Dlamini has welcomed a baby girl and Brown has been married and divorced. They’ve suffered the deaths of parents and cheered when their castmates gave birth or got married. They’ve bid goodbye to performers and welcomed fresh ones. They’ve danced at backstage Halloween parties and shared potluck dinners.
And like the show itself, which is celebrating its milestone anniversary this week, they plan to keep on going. The lithe dancer who now has a hint of gray in her close-cropped hair and the quick-to-smile singer from South Africa are as much at home together as anywhere else.
“I think, at the time, I thought loud was good. So I sang `Get Here (If You Can)’ and I sang it really loud,” she says, laughing. “I really wanted to do the show.”
Several callbacks led to a role in the ensemble for the former Martha Graham Dance Company soloist: “I really was elated. I had no idea that 15 years later I’d still be happy in the same show.”
“I couldn’t remember what I was supposed to sing,” she says. “I sang the national anthem of South Africa. And I sang it loud, too. I did the same thing. I sang it louder and louder and louder.”
She got the job, of course, and knew it was going to be special during an out-of-town tryout in Minneapolis when she saw the audience crying. “That feeling, even today, I still get,” she says. “Somehow I felt like, `OK, this is going to be a long-running show.’”
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