Hickory – Like many Disney stories, The Lion King, Jr. is mainly a drama, and every drama needs some comic relief. In this case that comes from two crazy characters, Timon the meerkat and Pumbaa the warthog. In the Hickory Community Theatre production, opening October 5th in the Jeffers Theatre, these characters are played by two young actors, Quinn Mullins and Gabriel Beech.

Beech, who plays Pumbaa, is an eighth grader at Mill Creek Middle School and a native of Newton. He has several community theatre productions to his credit, including Junie B. Jones at HCT and Sweeney Todd, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Seussical at The Green Room. He is the student council president at his school and with the rest of his spare time he runs his own cupcake business.

The Lion King, Jr. is Mullins’ first community theatre show but not his first time on stage. He was Tweedle Dum in the Clater-Kaye Theatreworks production of Alice in Wonderland. A native of Hickory, he is a seventh grader at Hickory Christian Academy, where he is active in the chess club and the math club. Based on the Disney film The Lion King, which has captivated audiences worldwide for over 20 years, this official stage adaptation for young actors features the original songs of Elton John and Tim Rice, dazzling costumes and extraordinary talent. It is must-see entertainment.  Performances of Disney’s The Lion King, Jr. are October 5th through 28th with evening performances on Thursdays (Oct 18 & 25), Fridays (Oct 5, 19 & 26) and Saturdays (Oct 6, 20 & 27) at 7:30pm and matinee performances on Sundays (Oct 21 & 28) at 2:30pm. There are no performances on the weekend of October 11th due to the Downtown Hickory Oktoberfest.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and youth 18 & under. To purchase tickets call the box office at 828-328-2283 or visit www.hickorytheatre.org.

Photo:  Gabriel Beech (standing) is Pumbaa and Quinn Mullins is Timon in Disney’s The Lion King, Jr. at the Hickory Community Theatre. The family musical is on stage October 5th through 28th at the Hickory Community Theatre. Call 828-328-2283 or visit hickorytheatre.org for tickets and other information.
Photo by John Koval.