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The Lion King - Broadway

Experience the circle of life as Disney’s beloved film comes to eye-popping life onstage.

The Lion King Star Chantel Riley Explains Why High School Was Like a Cyndi Lauper Song

The Lion King Star Chantel Riley Explains Why High School Was Like a Cyndi Lauper Song
Chantel Riley
'The Lion King' star Chantel Riley remembers her cool gym teacher and more.

As kids all over America head back to school, decided to ask our favorite Broadway stars to look back at their own years in the classroom—and share a school picture! The Lion King queen Chantel Riley, who plays Nala in the Disney hit, told us about her fun and drama-free experience with "my girls" and an embarrassing school uniform incident.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
His name was Mr. Tucci. I loved how cool he was and how well he related to all of his students. He was a gym teacher and my high school basketball coach. He always made us feel so comfortable.

What advice would you give to your school-age self?
Not to be afraid of dreaming BIG and to STOP WORRYING!!! God’s plan always works out for the best.

In school you would have been named “most likely to…”
Hmmm...become a performer (LOL). I was dancing while in high school and always singing with my friends.

What song sums up your school experience and why?
“Girls Just Want To Have Fun.” My school days were all about me and my girls. We spent so much time together and had so much fun without any worries over boy troubles, scary decisions or pressure that I now feel as an adult! LOL

What’s your favorite back-to-school item?
Pencil cases! I loved finding really fun and cute ones.

What class did you dread and why?
MATH!!!!!! I wasn't the greatest in it. It was hard!!

What is your most embarrassing school moment?
In high school we wore a uniform. I remember coming out of the bathroom with my skirt tucked into my bike shorts!!

In which extracurricular activities did you participate?
I played basketball, softball, volleyball and track and field.

Describe your school-age self in three words.
Exciting. Challenging. Growth.

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