The circle of life is circling back to Buffalo.
The theatrical adaptation of "The Lion King," one of the most technically and visually innovative musicals of the past quarter-century, returns to Shea's Performing Arts Center this week for a monthlong run. It last played Buffalo in 2011.
The production, based on the 1994 animated film and conceived by director Julie Taymor, is a spectacle driven by puppetry, costumes and masks as much as by music. It has been widely praised by audiences and critics alike for its gasp-inducing stagecraft, which transforms an empty theater into a sun-drenched African Savannah teeming with wildlife.
Taymor and her creative team's innovation has been richly rewarded: "The Lion King" is the third longest-running show on Broadway and the most lucrative in its history.
The show also features choreography by Rochester-based artist Garth Fagan, with music and lyrics by Elton John, Tim Rice and many others. Ticket buyers should note that the production's final performance, originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7, has been canceled.
"The Lion King": Opens in previews on Dec. 13 and runs through Jan. 7, 2018 in Shea's Performing Arts Center, 646 Main St. Tickets are $30 to $130 for the Dec. 13 preview performance and $40 to $150 for the remainder of the run. Call 847-1410 or visit sheas.org.