Mayfest’s ‘Lion King’ screening a singing success

Lauren Mogannam

About 120 Northwestern students had “no worries” Tuesday night as they took a trip down memory lane on Norris East Lawn to watch a sing-along version of Disney’s classic “The Lion King” projected on the Block Museum of Art.

As soon as the opening “Circle of Life” started playing, students raised their voices to join in on the popular childhood song.

“‘Circle of Life’ is the greatest opening ever,” said Medill sophomore Chris Gonzalez. “It is just epic. It is the dream of every 6-year-old.”

The “Lion King” showing was brought to NU as part of Mayfest’s spring activities, said Vivienne So, Mayfest’s special events co-chairwoman.

“It is a childhood favorite of mine,” the Communication senior said. “We thought it would be fun to project a sing-along version of ‘The Lion King.’ “

The event was designed to be different from other Mayfest events and attract students who might not otherwise be involved, said Stephanie Sorensen, Mayfest special events co-chairwoman.

“Battle of the Bands and Battle of the DJs cater to a more music-loving crowd,” the Communication senior said. “We thought a Disney movie would cater to a completely different crowd.”

Students said they were glad Mayfest sponsors more outdoor events than Dillo Day, which will be held on May 31.

“Now that the weather is nice, it is great to come outdoors to watch the movie,” said SESP freshman Jennifer Goldberg. “I’m glad that there are more outdoor events besides Dillo Day.”

The group tried creative ways to advertise for the screening, handing out crayons and coloring pages, and chalking lyrics from songs on campus sidewalks, Sorensen said.

It worked: The event was a lot more successful than anticipated, So said.

“We are definitely going to do it again next year,” she said. “Hopefully it will become an annual Mayfest event.”

Laura Reid, who attended the screening, said she picked up on many aspects of the movie she had missed as a child.

“There are some words that are used that I definitely didn’t know when I first saw the movie,” the Weinberg freshman said. “There were also some things that my friends pointed out that I had never noticed.”

Although many students did not sing along to all songs, their voices could be heard during “Hakuna Matata,” “I Just Can’t Wait to be King,” and “Circle of Life.”

“I’m not embarrassed to say that I know all the words,” Goldberg said. “‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight’ and ‘Circle of Life’ were my favorite songs to sing along to.”

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