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Fil-Am Vince Ermita stars as the young Simba in Disney’s 'The Lion King'

Don Tagala | TFC News New York

Posted at Sep 30 2021 06:37 AM

As Broadway reopened in New York City this September, another Filipino-American made his dream come true, showing the world that Filipino talent belongs to the great white way. 11-year-old Vince Ermita reopens Broadway as he plays the role of young "Simba" in Disney's 'The Lion King.'

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Vincermita (@vince_ermita)



Ermita shares that he's been aiming for the role since he was 9 years old. Now, his long wait to be “king” is over -- after two years of taking intensive lessons in singing, dancing, and acting -- especially when all of New York City's live theater were shut down during the pandemic.

"Opening night was awesome. I loved opening night. It was super fun you know the crowd was you know... it was super live and they were always clapping and cheering and made me feel good," the elated Ermita said.

Even before the show started, the cast of the 'Lion King' was welcomed with a standing ovation.

It was an emotional reopening night for both Broadway fans and the actors. Most especially for the young Filipino actor, who made his broadway debut.

"I was a little nervous but mostly excited 'cause it's my first Broadway show. It's like the biggest thing ever in the musical theater world but you know, they are not as strict as I thought they would be and they made me have fun," says Ermita.

Ermita was playing the role of Lawrence in the musical 'School of Rock' in Tuacahn, Utah when he learned that he made the cut to the reopening cast of the 'Lion King' on Broadway. He actually did not make the cut on his first 'Lion King' audition two years ago because he was too young before, but he persisted.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Vincermita (@vince_ermita)


The young actor aims to inspire fellow aspirants to follow their dreams and to work hard for it. "If you wanna be on Broadway just pursue your dreams, do whatever you wanna do 'cause look at me I mean I've been dreaming about being young Simba for about two years and now I’m young Simba. So your dreams will come true if you work hard enough."

When it comes to his ultimate dream, Ermita admits, "Well I want to be in Hollywood but you know being in another Broadway show would be nice as well."

Ermita also shares his good connection with fellow cast member, young Fil-Am actress, Alayna Martus, who plays young Nala. Martus also had her Broadway debut in the multi-awarded musical 'Lion King.'

Disney’s 'Aladdin' on Broadway is also reopening in the Big Apple on Tuesday, September 28. The musical also stars a number of Fil-Am Broadway actors including Don Daryll Rivera who originated the role of Iago.