The Lion King, Jr. and a Visit from Banzai!


On Monday, February 1, 2016, student actors, crew members, and club directors from John F. Kennedy's production of The Lion King, Jr. welcomed special guest James Brown-Orleans to their dress rehearsal.  James has played Banzai the hyena on Broadway's The Lion King for the last thirteen years! Ms. Strongin, Mr. Wibben, and Mr. Levy first met James when they went to see The Lion King on Broadway to get ideas for producing a junior version of the show.  James was extremely excited that we were premiering the show on Long Island and wanted to pay a special visit to our student actors and crew!  

James enthusiastically watched a dress rehearsal of the production and then offered suggestions and conducted a question and answer session with the student actors and crew.  He gave incredible advice about the importance of determination and perseverance when pursuing goals. The Broadway actor was blown away with John F. Kennedy's students and their rendition. He brought his humble, experienced, and outgoing personality to our stage. James pumped up the John F. Kennedy Drama Club days before their sold out shows and helped us learn the true meaning of The Circle of Life; professional actors giving back to the school-aged community.  Photos can be viewed in our Photo Gallery.