"The Lion King" ★★★★

Anchored by an especially rakish Rafiki in Brenda Mhlongo, Disney's “The Lion King” is back in Chicago for a third visit in its circle of joyous theatrical life. And there has been no decline down in the theatrical food chain here. The great Tony Freeman must have worn out several birdcages as Zazu by now, but Disney also has managed to cast new young performers like Adam Jacobs' Simba who avoid cynicism and make the ascension of Pride Rock still look like the realization of some great personal ambition. That's why Julie Taymor's imaginative and engrossing masterpiece roars on, and why young theater-goers can still believe. Through Nov. 27 at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St.; $25-$97 at broadwayinchicago.com
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