Can You Feel the Love? You Will during BCCT’s Performance of The Lion King Jr. at the Strand Theater

Posted on March 23, 2017 By

You know the story, characters, and songs by heart. Experience it all when BCCT (Brick Children’s Community Theater) presents The Lion King Jr., a 90-minute musical adapted from the highest-grossing show in Broadway history, at the historic Strand Theater, 400 Clifton Avenue, Lakewood, on Friday, March 31 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, April 1 at 2:00 and 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, April 2 at 2:00 p.m.

Ticket prices are $12 for children, 12 and under; $15 for all others, plus a $1.50 service fee per ticket. The show runs approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. Purchase tickets at  Per the Strand’s ticket policy, all attendees need a ticket regardless of age. No strollers or carriages will be allowed inside the theater.

For more information visit or call 732-920-9041. Also contact Kendra Zarrilli at 732-684-2365 or

BCCT’s The Lion King Jr. is under the direction of BCCT founder and 25-year veteran Director Heather Campagno.  Scenic Designer and Technical Director Ian Kearns set the stage with the impressive Pride Rock and the extensive Savannah.  Costume designers Kathy Mulvaney and Lorraine Brown are dressing over 50 actors with hundreds of costumes.  Choreographer and BCCT alumni Logan Jones, Lighting Designer Bill Simonelli, Chris Everett, and the Strand technical crew, and over 60 parent volunteers round out the team.

Robert DiGrigoli and Anthony Zarrilli have designed and constructed the animal puppets for the iconic opening scene Circle of Life where the animals of the Pride Lands are summoned by Rafiki to baby Simba’s royal presentation.  Scheduled to grace the Strand stage at the end of the month are two larger than life elephants, high-rise giraffes, three rhinos, four zebras, four leopards, eighteen antelope, a pride of lions and an amazingly talented cast of young people.

Robert DiGrigoli spent much of his career constructing sets for major feature films, including Enchanted, The Perfect Murder, Home Alone 2, and Fatal Attraction. After retiring, DiGrigoli began working with BCCT designing sets for many of their summer productions, including Wizard of Oz, Annie, Shrek and Willy Wonka. Anthony Zarrilli is the founder and owner of Zarrilli Homes, LLC and has specialized in building custom modular homes along the Jersey Shore for almost 20 years.

Both DiGrigoli and Zarrilli make it their business to give back to the community in which they live. Brick residents, both are avid supporters of BCCT whole-heartedly giving of their time, talent and treasure.  Digrigoli and his wife Kathy have generously awarded almost $20,000 in performing arts education scholarships to children ages 5-18 over the past several years.  Zarrilli Homes, LLC is a major sponsor and Zarrilli and his family are actively involved in the organization, both on stage and behind the scenes.

The show features Nicholas Bryant as Rafiki, Grace Zarrilli as Zazu, Jackson Mizell as Mufasa, Jared Pesciotta as Scar, Gabe Amoroso as young Simba, Marleigh Frantz as young Nala, Stephen Pasch as Simba, and Elaina Cainzos as Nala. Megan Brown, Gianna Avenoso, and Searra VanDerveer are cast as Scar’s henchman hyenas and Vincenzo Faruolo and Ella Zarrilli as the dynamic duo Pumbaa and Timon.

About the Strand Center for the Arts: The historic STRAND THEATER, Ocean County’s premier entertainment venue, is operated by the nonprofit 501(c)(3) Strand Ventures, Inc. THE STRAND opened in 1922 and its landmarked interior shines as brightly today as it did then. Located in historic downtown Lakewood, New Jersey, THE STRAND is easily accessible, has free parking, and offers a wide variety of live entertainment, including concerts, dance, musicals, theater, comic performances, and arts education to all of New Jersey and the surrounding region.