Rather than fiddling with a pair of ruby slippers, you will find her braving the circle of life in “The Lion King.”
The Disney theatrical production billed as the “World’s No. 1 Musical” opens Thursday at the Fox Theatre in Midtown.
Williams, a dancer/singer in the show tasked with bringing the Cheetah character to life, relishes the opportunity to do so with Atlanta-based parents, Floyd and Antoinette, looking on.
“It’s such a good place to call home,” said Williams by telephone last week from Seattle, the show’s previous destination.
“I get to stay with my parents and I have a lot of family members coming to the show. … I’m so excited.”
Williams has been inhabiting the “visually striking” Cheetah puppet the past four years. Her abundance of stage time entails myriad costume changes — 14 in all — as part of the pageantry of a show, which, at its core, features an engaging narrative wrapped in spectacle.
The Fox stage will be transformed into a vibrant rendering of the African savannah — populated by dozens of actors and other performers.
Award-winning director Julie Taymor created visual images for the show — where strutting giraffes, leaping gazelles and the like abound.
“I’m not just being biased; there’s a reason why there are 10 productions of this show [going on] all around the world,” said Williams. “It’s such a magical experience.”
The show’s Atlanta theatrical run also marks the end of Williams’ “Lion King” days. When it wraps here, she’s heading off to New York in pursuit of other artistic endeavors.
Like Williams, Amyia Burrell has also been a mainstay of the “Lion King” national tour.
Burrell, whose family will make the drive up from Warner Robins, has been an ensemble dancer/singer for seven years.
“Why would I stay that long?” she said. “Because it’s a great show. … I love it that much.”
The former Mercer University biomedical engineering student acknowledged the “strenuous” demands of her role.
“It’s a very, very physical show,” said Burrell. “We have multiple [responsibilities] — dancing, singing, puppetry acting — and ensemble is pretty much on stage the entire show.
“It is a lot … but I love it.”
“The Lion King” has been the claim to fame for yet another Peach State product in Nia Holloway. The 18-year-old Norcross High grad is the youngest actress to play the featured role of Nala.
IF YOU GO:
o What: "The Lion King"
o When: today (April 10) through April 27
o Where: Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Midtown
o Information: www.foxtheatre.org