What’s it like to be on Broadway? Ask Young Simba


by Lizzy Miller, Reporter

“I just can’t wait to be king!” This is of the most famous lines and songs from The Lion King, spoken by Young Simba.

The Lion King on Broadway is celebrating 20 years on the road. The tour appears throughout the world, though its most recent tour stayed in the United States. I am lucky enough to be cousins with 13-year-old Charlie Kahler, who played Young Simba in the Lion King‘s most recent tour. With Covid-19 in the middle of his performance, the experience, but, in the end, the show was in fact able to go on. 

He started in his role in December 2020 and took his final bow in March 2022.

“It was a great experience! It almost felt like being a celebrity,” Kahler said. He always talked and posted on Instagram (@charliek_official) about how excited and happy he was when on tour and how much fun it was.

With the extravagant costumes and props, there are challenges.

“I’d say the most difficult part was about costumes. My costume had a corset, so I couldn’t really move until I broke it in. They dry cleaned it every week, so it was a break-in every single week. It was also hard with the puppets because I had to look at the puppets’ eyes and not the person holding the puppet,” Kahler said.

But what makes Lion King on Broadway so interesting and makes it fun to watch?

The Lion King has become an international hit with productions playing all around the globe. The Elton JohnTim Rice musical has won over 30 major awards,” reports Playbill . The musical is the eighth longest running Broadway show.

 “I think I grew the closest with Mufasa, having known him for the longest (2 years due to Covid). It surprised me how accepting all of the adults were with all of the children,” said Kahler. 

Because of how young Kahler and the other kids were, there were two Young Simba actors and two Young Nala actors that would alternate shows. They had a tutor and a teacher that went around with them during the tour that allowed them to continue with their schooling while performing.

Kalher first said he thought he could be Simba, when he saw the Delaware Online article about him and his life.

Though Kahler doesn’t have a future set in stone yet, he is excited for the future and hopes to keep going in the arts. He’s already had a small role in a newly released Disney movie, Better Nate Than Ever, and will soon be doing an episode of a podcast called The Mouse and Me