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Arts and Entertainment

Ramon Reed, 12, roars onto stage in production of ‘The Lion King’
Huntersville student makes first national tour
Published Friday, June 1, 2018 2:50 pm
by Ashley Mahoney

From left, Danielle W. Jalade, Ramon Reed, Gloria Manning and Joziyah Jean-Felix in “The Lion King” North American Tour.  

Not every 12-year-old can claim performing with a Broadway tour.

Ramon Reed’s performance as young  Simba in Disney’s “The Lion King” in certain shows marks his first professional tour, which heads to Belk Theater Aug. 22-Sept. 9.

Ramon joined the Tony-Award winning musical in June 2017 after successfully auditioning at an open call for the show.

“It’s been amazing, because we went through like five weeks of rehearsals, and then two weeks of tech rehearsals – when you’re working on the lights and everything in the theater,” he said. “Then we opened the show, and the energy was amazing. It’s good, because that energy is still there.”

Ramon, who has finished seventh grade, attended J.M. Alexander Middle School in Huntersville but switched to homeschooling in order to accommodate the demands of traveling and performing.

“Now I’m homeschooling, so I do online classes,” said Ramon, who spends his free time on his hoverboard or playing video games.
Playing one of the most beloved Disney characters of all-time seems like a natural fit for Ramon.

“All of the moments of me singing and dancing around the house, doing crazy things – like dressing up, and saying ‘Mom, come on! You’ve got to announce me when I come out!’, that just led up to what I’m doing now,” he said. “In Charlotte, I would some small theater things like ‘The Wiz.’ We performed at the Booth Playhouse, and that got me really into it. I just love the excitement when you’re about to do the show. Now that I’m touring across the world, it’s just bizarre to see new places, and to be with such a loving group of people, who are experiencing the same thing with you.”

Ramon received an influx of advice before his first performance, but what stayed with him the most was the idea of sharing the experience.

“The best advice that stuck with me is that, we have nothing to give, just something to share,” he said.

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