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COLUMN

Live Active Cultures

Selena Moshell and Dionne Randolph, touring stars of Broadway's Lion King, are happy to be back home in Orlando

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When word came that Moshell had been cast in the touring company, co-workers were confused: “I said, ‘I got the Lion King!' And they replied, ‘But you are [already] at the Lion King?'” Randolph, who auditioned for the Broadway cast six times and received five rejections (“They were waiting for me to age into the role”), had recently renewed his Festival contract when the call came. “The stage manager said, ‘Every time we give you a contract … you leave [for] some new job.' I said, ‘I promise I won't do that this time,' and literally at that moment my phone rang” with an offer to join the tour.

Since the Lion King tours stay in a city for weeks or months at a time, the actors make themselves at home on the road. Randolph rents an apartment instead of staying in hotels; Moshell travels with her boyfriend and cat, visiting roadside attractions in their downtime. Both still call Orlando home. Asked what she misses most, Moshell name-checks Sapphire Supper Club (now the Social), Back Booth and WPRK (where she DJ'ed). “I didn't appreciate [Orlando] until I left. I flew like a bird, I danced with Elmo, I scared the crap out of people … I'm a big Orlando nerd.” For Randolph, it's even simpler: “I will not live anywhere else but Orlando. … You can't beat the weather, I've got to see me a palm tree or I'm going to die, but it's the people that keep me here.”

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