By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – Disney’s The Lion King reopens today at the Minscoff Theater on Broadway with Filipino-American Vince Ermita to open the spectacular show as young Simba.
Ermita, 11 years old, performs with three other actors for Disney’s Broadway production, recognized as ‘the most successful stage show’.
Ermita is the youngest of four children of Anne and Jun Ermita who work as nurses at the NY Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan. The couple is from Cebu, Philippines and have three older sons.
In an interview with Issues & Inspiration last week, Ermita said he auditioned online and was called back three hours later.
“I wasn’t so nervous compared to past real audition at The School of Rock,” he quipped.
Ermita had performed at The School of Rock in Utah before he auditioned for young Simba. He will be homeschooling for the entire performing season of The Lion King.
The cast started practicing in April 2021, under strict health protocols. “We are not allowed to eat during rehearsals. We wear our masks except for when we are rehearsing on stage. And my nose is swabbed everyday everyday!,” the animated Vince said.
Mom Anne opined that her son’s singing talent must have been acquired from her parents who are both great at singing. “Back in Cebu, my mom Violeta was a choir member. And my parents always sang to my children while babysitting them,” she said.
Grandma Violeta passed away in March 2020 due to complications of covid19. “She would have loved to see Vince perform,” said Anne.
The Ermita children have a band called 2468 Band which performs in community events in Milford, NJ where they live.
“Invite us soon because Kuya (the eldest brother) will go to the army soon,” suggested Vince.
Asked how he envisions himself someday, he said he will go to Hollywood and would love to perform as Scar when he outgrows the role of young Simba.#