By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– The award winning Disney’s the Lion King is playing in Baltimore.

The hit musical also has several cast members with Maryland ties.

RELATED: Disney’s The Lion King Returns To Baltimore

“Born and raised in Baltimore, west side of Baltimore, went to Walbrook Senior High School, Towson State University, Morgan State University, born and bred, love my city glad to be back here,” said Keith Bennett who plays Banzai, one of the three hyenas who helps Scar in his plot to become king.

Bennett is thrilled to be back in his hometown.

“I want kids and parents to come and see a local guy from Baltimore,” Bennett said. “You work hard, your struggle hard you come back.”

Another local cast member, Phylicia Pearl, was born and raised in Silver Spring. She is a vocal swing and Shenzi understudy.

“Really nice to be able to present something to people who have been invested in me my whole career and life, and kind of say thank you,” Pearl said. “In a sort of way like I made it, your investment has gone to something as incredible as the Lion King.”

The actor who plays Simba, Lion King’s main character, Gerald Ceasar is originally from Virginia, but he also has family spread across Maryland who will be able to see him live.

“I’m excited that there’s a whole bus load of church people coming up, and family and family from Maryland, it’s nice that it’s central enough,” Ceasar said.

The Lion King stars hope to inspire the next generation and show them anything is possible.

“To believe, dream and do the work, like really work hard, take as many classes as you can, find different outlets and different ways to perform, and never stop going,” Pearl said.

The Lion King will be at the Hippodrome Theatre through December 10.

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